Over the counter medications are often considered by the public to be safer than prescription medications, given the ease with which they can be obtained. However, the potential danger is just as high if there is a problem with the medication. Drug recalls of over the counter medication should be heeded just as closely as recalls or warnings provided for prescription pharmaceuticals.
The leading pharmaceutical maker, Johnson & Johnson, recently agreed to pay a $22.9 million settlement relating to a lawsuit involving drug recalls for major over the counter children’s medications. In a two year period, J&J recalled more than 40 different commonly administered medications such as Motrin or Tylenol. In the same time period, problems at four different Johnson & Johnson factories led to one factory being closed for an overhaul and the other three factories being put under greater government oversight.
The lawsuit claimed that J&J did not adequately disclose quality control problems, potentially even hiding such problems, at its plants that ultimately led to the recalls. The company is not admitting any unethical or wrong actions on its part and states it is agreeing to the settlement solely in a good-faith effort to avoid further costly litigation.
Pharmaceutical liability is a serious matter as harmful drugs can result in drug injury or even wrongful death. Conumers taking prescription or over the counter drugs themselves or giving them to their children should be aware of any potential side effects. If you believe you have received a defective drug, you can consult with an attorney to learn the best options for you.
Source: Bloomberg, “J&J agrees to pay $22.9 million to settle on drug recalls,” David Voreacos and Jef Freeley, July 17, 2013