Annals of Industry: Children’s Tylenol Still Off the Market

Remember how there was that

news coverage

way back in springtime about how McNeil Consumer Healthcare, aka Johnson & Johnson, was having a little trouble with some of its children’s medications? The company voluntarily recalled its full infant and children’s lines of liquid Tylenol and Motrin, strictly as a precautionary measure, despite no evidence of “adverse medical events,” because—well, because the drugs were tainted with foreign matter, their ingredients were substandard, and the company didn’t really know

how much active ingredient

might be in each bottle. Might have been a little stronger than labeled! Who knows? Under United States

food and drug law

, this is the stuff of voluntary recall.

Anyway, all that was months and months ago. Except Johnson & Johnson still hasn’t finished working out how to bring non-tainted versions of the drugs back to the market. The Fort Washington, Pennsylvania,


where the products were made is still being revamped.

So preschool illness season is here, and Tylenol and Motrin’s former space in the drugstore children’s-liquids section still belongs to drugstore-brand acetaminophen and ibuprofen. “[W]e don’t anticipate having product until spring 2011,”

Tylenol’s website reports

. Last month the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Johnson & Johnson had done a

quiet “wholesale and retail” recall

of more Fort Washington products, “including about four million packages of Children’s Benadryl allergy tablets and 800,000 bottles of junior-strength Motrin caplets.”

The good news is, if you forgot to do anything about the recall when it happened, and now your kid has a fever and the sniffles, there’s nothing to be confused or unsure about. If you have any liquid children’s or infant




around at all, it’s the stuff you’re not supposed to use. For now, there isn’t any other kind.