Lawmakers: Tylenol maker hasn't delivered documents

By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Johnson & Johnson, whose drugmaking unit McNeil Consumer Healthcare is under government investigation over a string of drug recalls, failed to meet a Monday deadline to deliver documents related to a 2009 recall of close to 90,000 Motrin tablets.

The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform had set a 4 p.m. deadline on June 7 for Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, Fortune 500) to provide more information about a so-called "phantom" recall.

House committee spokeswoman Jenny Rosenberg said late Monday that Johnson & Johnson's McNeil unit had not yet complied with the committee's request for documents.

However, McNeil said late Monday that it had been in contact with the committee and "submitted documents they requested. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with the committee."

After seeing McNeil's comment, Rosenberg reaffirmed her earlier statement that Johnson & Johnson did not comply with the committee's request.

"If necessary to ensure cooperation with the committee's investigation, further action will be taken," Rosenberg said.

Such further action by the committee could possibly include a subpoena against Johnson & Johnson executives to comply with lawmakers' request.

A sources close to the investigation said Monday that under the committee rules, the chairman of the committee has unilateral subpoena power. Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has not yet indicated that he intends to pursue this path, but he has not ruled it out, the source said.

On May 27, FDA officials told the committee during hearings about McNeil's wide-ranging recalls of non-prescription drugs such as Tylenol and Motrin, that the agency last year became aware of an alleged Motrin scheme after it obtained an anonymous memo that detailed instructions to contract workers to buy up Motrin from stores.

The memo instructed workers to simply "act" like a regular customer while making these purchases and not to mention that it was part of the product recall.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson, has initiated four recalls of its over-the-counter drug products such as Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec in the past eight months.

The drugmaker last month shut production at its Fort Washington, Pa., plant where its recalled children's drugs were manufactured and pledged to remedy serious quality and safety lapses at its manufacturing facilities. To top of page

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