May 24, 2017

CT in $33M multistate settlement on over-the-counter drug quality

Connecticut has joined with 41 other states and the District of Columbia in a $33 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. to resolve allegations the companies engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices in the marketing of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Connecticut's share of the settlement is $531,816, which will go to the general fund. The settlement will not be final unless and until it is approved by the court.

The settlement announcement was made today by Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull.

The settlement relates to McNeil-PPC Inc., which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that manufactured and distributed OTC medications. The McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, formerly a division of McNeill-PPC, Inc., is now a division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., according the AG and DCP offices.

Between 2009 and 2011, McNeil announced voluntary recalls of certain OTC medications. In March 2011, McNeil stipulated in a guilty plea and memorandum with the United States that some of its OTC drugs were not manufactured, processed, packed, labeled, held or distributed in conformance with federally mandated current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), the state said.

Also in March 2011, McNeil entered into an agreement with the United States requiring it to destroy all recalled products from four manufacturing facilities and to hire an expert to inspect three facilities and inform the federal Food and Drug Administration when the facilities were in compliance with guidelines.

The states alleged the McNeil's quality control lapses resulted in recalls of certain drugs manufactured between 2009 and 2011, including formulations of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Sudafed, Pepcid, Mylanta, Rolaids, Zyrtec and Zyrtec Eye Drops, some for pediatric use.

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