When parents administer over-the-counter pediatric medicines to their children,
they most likely trust that these medicines are safe and have been produced
in a tightly controlled environment with the best equipment. It is not
an unreasonable assumption. After all, medicine is supposed to help rather
than hurt. Sadly, an article in the Washington Post reveals that the plant
that is responsible for the production of a large number of pediatric
medicines has some serious quality control and safety issues.
The plant in question, located in Fort Washington, PA, is owned by McNeil
Consumer Healthcare, which is a division of Johnson & Johnson. The
plant is the sole manufacturer of Tylenol for children and infants as
well as other popular over-the-counter pediatric drugs, such as Motrin,
Benadryl, and Zyrtec.
An investigation by the Food and Drug Administration uncovered a number
of troubling things at the plant, including the use of bacteria-contaminated
raw materials. In addition, McNeil had received nearly 50 consumer complaints
about dark flecks appearing in some medications, but McNeil failed to
respond or investigate the matter.
McNeil announced a voluntary recall of 43 over-the-counter pediatric medicines
that could affect some 70 percent of the entire market of over-the-counter
pediatric medicines. Though FDA investigators say the recalled medications
likely are not dangerous, they advise consumers to stop using the medications
immediately and to seek alternatives.