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Johnson & Johnson Gets Federal Subpoena Over Recalls

Jul 21, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed Johnson & Johnson as part of its investigation into its recent recall of over-the-counter medications. According to CNN, the grand jury subpoena was issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Johnson & Johnson has been under scrutiny since April 30, when its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit recalled more than 40 varieties of children’s Tylenol and other medicines. That recall was just one of six McNeil has issued for its cold and pain relief products over the past year.

McNeil has since shut the Fort Washington, PA facility that made those drugs to address manufacturing problems cited by a Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspection. The plant is expected to stay closed well into next year, and 75 percent of its workforce has been laid off.

Johnson & Johnson announced the grand jury subpoena yesterday, but did not reveal any other details about it except to say it was cooperating. According to CNN, the company said it was addressing a variety of legal actions, including lawsuits against its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit and ongoing FDA and Congressional investigations into the recalls.

The federal prosecutor’s office said it could not confirm or comment on investigations. However, a federal grand jury proceeding typically indicates that a criminal investigation is underway.

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