HEALTH

McNeil recalls continue; this time for Benadryl, Extra Strength Tylenol

BY Allison Cerra

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. McNeil Consumer Healthcare once again is recalling certain lots of its products as it is probed by federal investigators for its recall of children’s cough-cold products and manufacturing plant closure.

The J&J subsidiary announced Wednesday morning that four lots of Benadryl allergy ultratab tablets (100 count) and one lot of Extra Strength Tylenol rapid-release gels (50 count) would be added to its initial Jan. 15 product recall. This recall, McNeil said, is a follow-up to the product recall because the products were inadvertently omitted from the initial recall action.

Benadryl allergy ultratab tablets are designed to provide relief of such allergy-associated symptoms as sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat and itchy and watery eyes. Extra strength Tylenol rapid-release gels are sold over-the-counter and are indicated for the temporary reduction of fever, as well as for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to headache, muscular aches, backache, minor arthritis pain, the common cold, toothache, premenstrual and menstrual cramps, and flu.

Consumers who purchased product from the lots included in this recall should stop using the product and contact McNeil Consumer Healthcare for instructions on a refund or replacement, the company said.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is continuing its probe of the J&J subsidiary.

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HDI, Nipro Diabetes Systems to merge

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Home Diagnostics and Nipro Diabetes Systems earlier this week announced that the two companies will merge to become Nipro Diagnostics. Both companies are wholly owned by Nipro Corp., which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan.

“Our mission at Home Diagnostics has always been to make high-performance blood glucose monitoring technology more affordable to people with diabetes,” stated Joseph Capper, president of HDI. “Merging with Nipro Diabetes Systems helps us extend this mission to the insulin pump category.”

The name change to Nipro Diagnostics is effective immediately for Home Diagnostics. The merger of the two companies is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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Rep. Ed Towns: J&J uncooperative in federal probe

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson has been less than cooperative with a congressional probe into the recent product recalls of J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division and the subsequent shuttering of its Fort Washington, Pa., manufacturing facility, the New York Times reported Thursday.

In an interview with the Times, Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., suggested J&J has been less cooperative in responding to requests than were either Bank of America or the insurance giant A.I.G. when they recently were under investigation.

Towns and the committee may have to resort to subpoenas to compel J&J’s cooperation, Towns said.

Bonnie Jacobs, McNeil spokeswoman, countered that the company has already produced approximately 20,000 pages of documents, and that corporate executives were made available for interviews in a timely fashion, the Times reported.

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