Recall news has topped our list of most-clicked-on news stories of 2010. I am sure this won’t surprise too many of you, since you may have clicked on these headlines yourself! Our top two news items in terms of clicks were “J&J Expands Tylenol Recall” reported on January 15, 2010, and “FDA Issues Warning Letter to McNeil on Recalled Products” reported on January 19, 2010. (To read more of our year’s most-viewed stories, click here.)
This past year really has been a dramatic one for Johnson & Johnson. FDA has dedicated one page to recalls issued by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals, Co. And the recalls continue to affect consumers: shopping in CVS last week I heard another shopper gripe: “They still don’t have Rolaids!”
In this most recent recall, FDA reports that the recall of all lots of Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength plus Gas Softchews, and Rolaids Multi-Symptom plus Anti-Gas Softchews distributed in the United States “followed consumer reports of foreign materials in the product, including metal and wood particles.”
McNeil Consumer Healthcare reports that its investigation has found that the materials may have been introduced during the manufacturing process at a third-party manufacturer.
If you search the mainstream news Web sites (like CNN) you’ll find that several have identified the third-party manufacturer as a cough-drop and candy manufacturer.
But does it really matter whether McNeil or its contract manufacturer introduced the metal and wood into the products? In the eyes of consumers, it certainly does not. That unhappy shopper walked away angry at the Rolaids brand, not at some behind-the-scenes company.
My hope for 2011 is that all this recall drama will be just last year’s news. So 2010.
Of course, we do hope to see you continuing to click away on our news stories, only we hope they’ll be better news stories, like our fifth most popular news story of 2010: “Dramatic Effects of New Merck Heart Drug Stun Investigators.”
Happy New Year!