The head of a Congressional committee probing Johnson & Johnson’s recent <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Childrens-Tylenol">recall of children’s medicines says the drug maker hasn’t been cooperating with his panel’s investigation. Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the panel may have to take a more aggressive stance that could include issuing subpoenas.
Johnson & Johnson has been under scrutiny since April, when its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit recalled more than 40 varieties of Tylenol Infant Drops, Childrenâ€™s Tylenol Suspensions, Childrenâ€™s Tylenol Plus Suspensions, Motrin Infant Drops, Childrenâ€™s Motrin Suspensions, Childrenâ€™s Zyrtec Liquid in Bottles, and Childrenâ€™s Benadryl Allergy Liquid.
McNeil has temporarily shut down production at the Fort Washington, PA facility that made the drugs. In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) cited more than 20 manufacturing problems, including not properly testing for contamination of the recalled products. The problems prompted the FDA to widen its investigation of McNeilâ€™s manufacturing practices, and it is now inspecting the companyâ€™s other facilities in Lancaster, PA and Puerto Rico. Officials from the agency have also said they were considering possible criminal charges against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil.
According to The New York Times, Towns has accused Johnson & Johnson of using delaying tactics, and in some cases misinformation, to stymie his committee’s investigation. Towns even asserted that Bank of America and the much-maligned insurance giant A.I.G. had been more cooperative the Johnson & Johnson in recent investigations of their conduct.
Towns told the Times he was most troubled in discrepancies among different accounts Johnson & Johnson has given of the recall. He said the company told his staff the recall involved six million bottles of childrenâ€™s medicines, yet the FDA was told it involved more than 136 million bottles.
At least one other lawmaker on the committee appears to share Town’s frustration. Eleanor Holmes Norton, (D-DC) told the Times that Johnson & Johnson’s conduct seemed to her to demonstrate a continuing lack of transparency.
â€œThe only way for Johnson & Johnson to reclaim any measure of credibility,” Norton said, â€œis to let it all out now.â€