Idaho and 42 other states reach $33M consumer settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Bryan Strickland
May 25, 2017

Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary's $33 million deal with state attorneys general Wednesday covers misrepresentations over manufacturing practices for drugs such as Tylenol, Benadryl and others.

The Complaint filed today alleges the Defendants acting through McNeil violated state consumer protection laws by (1) misrepresenting the cGMP compliance and the quality of their OTC drugs, and (2) representing that these OTC drugs had sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities that they did not have.

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"It's critical that companies meet good manufacturing practices and protect product quality", Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in the release.

That document cites recalls in 2009 and 2010 of drugs including Tylenol, Infants and Children Tylenol, Benadryl, Rolaids, Motrin, and Zyrtec.

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The consent judgment requires Johnson & Johnson to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote over-the-counter products. In a Class I recall, there is a "reasonable probability" that use of or exposure to a product may cause serious health problems or death.

The lawsuit claimed the company made false or misleading claims about its products, which included children's over-the-counter drugs, and that they sold impure medications, officials said.

"It's important that companies like these play by the rules, especially when we trust our health to their products", says Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden".

Fail to provide information to participating attorneys general within 60 days of a written request regarding the identity of wholesalers or warehouses to which any over-the-counter drugs that were subject to a recall were distributed in their state.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by attorneys general from the states. The state's share of that settlement is $531,816 and will go into the general fund.

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