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Sun 17 Jan 2010 12:41 PM

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J&J drugs recalled in UAE in health scare

Recall for popular over the counter drugs, including Tylenol, extended to UAE - statement.

J&J drugs recalled in UAE in health scare
RECALLED BATCH: Drugs including Tylenol have been recalled in the UAE.

A massive Johnson & Johnson recall of over-the-counter drugs including pain relievers Tylenol, Motrin and St Joseph, a children’s aspirin, has been extended to the UAE.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a unit of the pharmaceutical giant J&J, said it was voluntarily recalling some 500 batches of the products from the UAE, the Americas and Fiji after customers reported an “unusual, mouldy” odour that had been linked to gastrointestinal disorders, including stomach pain, nausea and diarrhoea.

Consumers who have an item on the recall list – which can be found

– have been urged to stop using the product, and to contact the company for a refund.

The affected product lot numbers can be found on the side of the bottle label.

The drugmaker said it believed the smell was related to a chemical used on wood pallets used to transport and store product packaging material.

“The health effects of this chemical have not been well-studied, but no serious events have been documented in the medical literature," the company said.

It will stop using the pallets to ship products with the same chemicals, it added.

The recall followed a “warning letter” from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, which accused the firm of failing to investigate the contamination of some of its popular over-the-counter drugs. The FDA said McNeil knew of the problem in early 2008 but made only limited inquiries.

“McNeil should have acted faster,” said Deborah Autor, the director of the FDA's Office of Compliance of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “When something smells bad, literally or figuratively, companies must aggressively investigate and take all necessary action to solve the problem.”

The move expanded an earlier recall of the Tylenol arthritis pill that was initiated in December after customers reported an unusual smell emanating from the products.

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Salloum 10 years ago

Nothing has been recalled I just checked the pharmacy and they have all the 54 products everywhere on the shelves

Amira Smith 10 years ago

Sam, there is a link to the batch numbers in the story. So, frankly, no - a 60-plus list of batch numbers would not have made this piece better. If I need those, I'll go to the website linked in the story - as anyone with any sense would. Salloum, the company that MAKES the drugs has recalled them. If the UAE has not been quick enough to pull them off the shelves, then that says something about the healthcare system here. The recall - clearly stating it includes drugs shipped to the UAE - is on the company's website. Check it for yourself. And then perhaps change your pharmacy, since it doesn't appear to keep up to date with drug alerts...