HEALTH

McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalls lots of several products

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Friday announced a voluntary recall of certain lots of over-the-counter products in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates and Fiji.

The company is initiating this recall following an investigation of consumer reports of an unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like odor that, in a small number of cases, was associated with temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal events. These include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea. The precautionary action is voluntary and has been taken in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration.

Based on its investigation, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has determined that the reported uncharacteristic smell is caused by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA). This can result from the breakdown of a chemical that is sometimes applied to wood that is used to build wood pallets that transport and store product packaging materials. The health effects of this chemical have not been well studied but no serious events have been documented in the medical literature. A small number of the product lots being recalled were associated with the complaints of an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor, and some of these lots were found to contain trace amounts of TBA.

In December 2009, McNeil Consumer Healthcare also recalled all lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain 100 count with EZ-OPEN CAP related to this issue.  McNeil Consumer Healthcare has now applied broader criteria to identify and remove all product lots that it believes may have the potential to be affected, even if they have not been the subject of consumer complaints.

In addition to the product recall, McNeil Consumer Healthcare is continuing their investigation into that issue and is taking further actions that include ceasing shipment of products produced using materials shipped on these wood pallets and requiring suppliers who ship materials to our plants to discontinue the use of these pallets. The company stated it will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the situation and consult with the FDA.

The impacted brands include Benadryl, Motrin, Rolaids, Simply Sleep, St. Joseph Aspirin and Tylenol.

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Drive Medical Canada acquires Independent Needs Centre

BY Allison Cerra

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. A durable medical products manufacturer’s subsidiary has acquired a manufacturer and distributor of aids to daily living products, patient aids, ambulatory assist products, bathroom safety products and other home healthcare products in Canada.

Drive Medical said its Canada-based subsidiary, Drive Medical Canada, recently acquired Independent Needs Centre, which will continue to independently operate through its existing facility in Ontario, and continue to distribute its products throughout the Canadian market. Additionally, the Drive Canada executive team, along with Ruth Mallin, the owner of Independent Needs, and the Independent Needs’ management team, will be collaborating on the development of new products for the Canadian and U.S. markets, along with new and improved packaging.

“The acquisition of Independent Needs will enhance our growing presence in Canada and expand our product offering and customer base in the Canadian marketplace. In addition, we look forward to distributing many of the products of Independent Needs into the U.S. marketplace,” said Drive Medical chairman and CEO Harvey Diamond.

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Sanofi makes tender offer to Chattem

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS Sanofi-Aventis on Monday announced the commencement of a tender offer through its wholly-owned subsidiary, River Acquisition, for all outstanding shares of common stock of Chattem for $93.50 per share, net to the seller in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes.

Sanofi-aventis first expressed interest in Chattem Dec. 20.

The tender offer is scheduled to expire at midnight, EST, on Feb. 8.

“The transaction is a significant milestone in sanofi-aventis’ transformational strategy,” the French pharmaceutical company stated in a press release. “By strengthening its presence in the U.S. consumer healthcare market, which represents 25% of the current worldwide opportunity, sanofi-aventis is further securing its position as a global, integrated healthcare company and building a significant platform for future growth.”

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