BATON ROUGE — Johnson & Johnson will pay a $33 million settlement to 42 states, including $586,408 to Louisiana, according to a statement from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
The crux of the settlement resolves allegations that Johnson & Johnson sold medicines that did not meet federal quality requirements.
“My Public Protection Division works tirelessly to ensure companies that deceive Louisiana consumers are held accountable for their actions,” Jeff Landry, Louisiana attorney general, said in the June 1 statement. “This resolution does just that and should serve as a reminder for those doing business in our State to follow manufacturing safety standards.”
It was alleged that Johnson & Johnson, under the auspices of the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, employed deceptive practices to market and promote numerous popular over-the-counter drugs.
Between 2009 and 2011, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration found that some of McNeil’s facilities were out of compliance, which resulted in the recalls of drugs like Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Sudafed, Pepcid, Mylanta, Rolaids and Zyrtec. All of the drugs in question were of the over-the-counter variety.
The investigation found that a number of McNeil drugs were sold in batches and some of the drugs were designed for children.
New York also was involved in the settlement and will receive $1.3 million.
“This is common sense: Over-the-counter drugs, especially those used to treat children, must be manufactured in accordance with federally mandated standards,” Eric Schneiderman, New York attorney general, said in a statement. “Drug companies that use deceptive practices threaten New Yorkers' health and wellbeing—and we won't hesitate to hold them accountable."
Schneiderman has filed a complaint in New York County Supreme Court, alleging that McNeil violated the state's consumer protection laws.