J & J Faces Supply Shortage After Plant Closure

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will probably not have supplies for some 40 varieties of medications recalled earlier this year until at least 2011, after closing a key manufacturing site.

In late April, J&J's McNeil unit recalled a variety of children's and adult over-the-counter medicines due to numerous manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Pa. plant.

The recall involved versions of Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin and other products. Some of the medicines contained excessive ingredient levels while others contained tiny particles of metal.

The Food and Drug Administration is looking into reports of complications with J&J products, though the agency has not directly linked any medical problem to the recalled medicines.

The company said in a release it has not decided when to resume operations at the plant, which was shut down in May.

A spokeswoman declined to provide further information

Products made at the plant generated about $650 million in sales in recent years. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company reported total sales of $61.9 billion last year.

J&J has long enjoyed a sterling reputation for safety, earned in the 1980s for quickly pulling bottles of Tylenol that had been tainted with cyanide.

J&J had its sales force remove 264,000 Tylenol bottles from store shelves and consumers were urged to return any Tylenol they had for a safe bottle.

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