Tylenol Maker Lays Off 300 After Recalls

Recall-related investigations of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and other products by Johnson & Johnson’s (Stock Quote: JNJ) McNeil Consumer Healthcare arm have uncovered unclean conditions, prompting 300 layoffs and the shuttering of a production plant.

That’s three-quarters of the company’s workforce at the Fort Washington, Pa., facility. The company also announced that it will cease production until the middle of next year in order to bring in new manufacturing equipment and assess and improve its manufacturing processes.

Production of the McNeil drugs was halted at the Fort Washington plant in May after reports of bacteria in the medicines.  So far 40 types of over-the-counter medications from McNeil have been recalled.

During its initial inspection, conducted from April 19 to April 30, the FDA found that the Fort Washington plant did not conduct proper quality control procedures or maintain adequate lab facilities, as MainStreet previously reported.

Investigations by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year found that McNeil machines weren’t adequately cleaned and the company knowingly used bacteria-contaminated ingredients, according to an FDA report.

Investigations also found several product mix-ups in which the wrong medicine was packaged and sent out to stores, including a case where Tylenol was found in a batch of Motrin from a San Juan, Puerto Rico plant. In fact, the company received 123 complaints of product mix-ups at that plant, according to one FDA document.

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