U.S. House Panel Raises Doubt Against FDA’s Help to J&J in Secretly Recalling Medicine

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration could have given approval to Johnson & Johnson for recalling its contaminated painkiller Motrin privately, as thought by U. S. House committee, which is investigating into the massive recall of the Company’s consumer medicines recently.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told that it had got an email, which elucidated an agreement between J&J's McNeil consumer medicines unit and the FDA to secretly recall the adult Motrin from the market. The email was released by the Committee on the same day that was written on May 27, 2009 and the complete recall was to make by July 15.

“The agreement purportedly allowed McNeil to forgo a publicly announced formal recall of the Motrin product and to instead conduct a soft market withdrawal", said the Committee.

A letter has been sent to J&J Chief Executive Bill Weldon from Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns urging the Company to submit the copy of any such agreement with the FDA.

Elaine Bobo, a FDA spokeswoman, stated that the agency didn’t know about the phantom recall made by McNeil and just on the basis of communication between him and FDA didn’t conclude that he disclosed the recall activities to FDA. She added that when FDA came to know that J&J was making secret recalls, it advised the Company to make a full recall, which it consented to do in July 2009.