Recent concerns about Tylenol recalls due to a moldy smell has suddenly been expanded into a voluntary recall by Johnson & Johnson, owner of the Tylenol brand and other such drugs as Rolaids and Motrin, that includes over 40 different products from Jr. Tylenol Meltaways to arthritis medication. The voluntary recall stems from a report where Johnson & Johnson was criticized by the FDA for not reacting quickly enough to customer reports of a musty, moldy odor coming from bottles of products. CNN and ABC, amongst several other media outlets, are covering the story.
In a letter from the FDA to McNeil Products, manufacturer of the drugs, the FDA said that McNeil “did not conduct a timely, comprehensive investigation” into why the pills have a musty smell. Forbes Magazine goes on to report that the FDA noted the contamination in 2008.
What to Do
McNeil Products has a toll-free number to call on how to get a refund if you are in possession of any products. If you have any of the specified lot numbers, call 1-888-222-6036 and receive instructions. As of this writing, the recall is voluntary by Johnson & Johnson and is not mandated by the FDA.
The lot numbers are printed somewhere on the packaging of the products, probably on the box near the experation date. The lot numbers will also be printed either directly on the bottle or on the label surrounding the bottle.
Do not consume any more of the product. Even if you don’t smell a musty or moldy odor like some of the other packages in the lot, call the number and follow the company’s instructions. With such a widespread voluntary recall, it is certainly best to err on the side of caution.
Tylenol, long one of the most reliable drug brands in the country, now has a tarnished name. I would expect this kind of behavior from drugs made in China, but never the United States. Much like the Georgia peanut butter fiasco last year, Johnson & Johnson has some explaining to do.
I suppose it’s fortunate that no one died. But it should never had gotten to this point in the first place. Was the quality assurance lab asleep that night? Did the QA guy have a grudge or was he just on lunch break when the contimated ingredients came through?
Once the products reach the shelves there is really nothing consumers can do except complain and hope that the situation is rectified. Will people continue to buy Tylenol? Of course we will because they have worked so well for so long.