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Drug Recall Could Lead to Products Liability Lawsuits

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, recently announced the expansion of a recall on several popular over-the-counter (OTC) drugs based on reports of the drugs having a moldy or musty smell that may cause people to fill ill. While a number of deaths have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many have been attributed to other causes. The potential for products liability or wrongful death cases may increase as more information becomes available.

McNeil has conducted numerous recalls in the last year. The most recent recall is a follow-up to one that began on January 15 of this year. Products covered include certain types of Children's Tylenol as well as adult -strength Benadryl, Motrin IB, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Day & Night, and Tylenol PM.

The company has not released information on exactly how many drugs or containers are being recalled. What is known is that the drugs were produced before January 15 and were distributed in the United States, Puerto Rico, Fiji, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.

The moldy or musty smell of the drugs is believed to come from a chemical used to treat the wooden pallets the products were stored on. According to McNeil, the risk of any health problems is believed to be remote.

In the last year, McNeil has also recalled five lots of Tylenol Arthritis Pain because of the moldy odor, which was believed to potentially cause nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. In December, they expanded that recall to include all of that particular drug in addition to the five lots previously recalled.

In January, McNeil began the recall of several types of Tylenol, Motrin and other OTC drugs. Then, in April, it recalled a number of children's drugs saying some of them may contain "tiny particles" or have other problems with their ingredients.

Related Resources:

Tylenol recall is expanded (CNNMoney.com)

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