Drug Maker Seen as Uncooperative on Inquiry – New York Times

Posted by Trish Riley, June 11, 2010

“A Congressional investigation into a recent recall of children’s Tylenol and other pediatric medicines has been stymied by the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, investigators say, raising the prospect that new measures — like issuing of subpoenas to compel cooperation — could be invoked.

The unit of Johnson & Johnson that makes the over-the-counter drugs, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, is already under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration for a pattern of violations in manufacturing and quality control practices that have led to a number of recent recalls. The agency said last month that it was considering criminal penalties or other actions against McNeil.

Now Representative Edolphus Towns, a New York Democrat who is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Johnson & Johnson had used delaying tactics in its dealings with the committee and in some instances had provided misinformation — accusations the company denies.

Such conduct has cast Johnson & Johnson in an unusually negative light, Mr. Towns said, and might compel the committee to take more aggressive action as it looks into drug quality and safety issues raised by the recall. Other large corporations investigated recently by the committee, including Bank of America and the insurance giant A.I.G., were more forthcoming, Mr. Towns said.”

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