Johnson & Johnson Recalls Motrin From Retailers

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) has issued its latest recall of Motrin, this time from retailers over slow-working tablets and caplets, bringing the number of recalls for this drug alone to six in the past two years and calling attention to the manufacturing woes faced by the drugmaker.

J&J subsidiary McNeil's consumer divisionrecalled 12 million bottles of Motrin coated caplets and tablets from retailers distributed in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Fiji, Belize, St. Lucia, and Jamaica.

It is the latest in a series of recalls the New Brunswick, N.J., company has issued, ranging from over-the-counter medication to hip replacements from its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics. Analysts estimate DePuy's hip implants alone could cost Johnson & Johnson as much as $1 billion in lawsuits. The metal-on-metal hip implants were found to shed metal particles into a patient's bloodstream over time.

In March, the frequency of recalls for its over-the-counter division prompted Johnson & Johnson to announce it would overhaul its McNeil consumer health-care division, particularly at its manufacturing plants in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, and Fort Washington, Pa.

In another bit of bad news for the drugmaker, a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey is allowing a securities fraud suit brought by investors to go forward. The lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson misled investors about quality control lapses at the McNeil plants that led to recalls.

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