Johnson & Johnson issued a recall today of 12 million bottles of Mylanta and almost 85,000 bottles of its AlternaGel liquid antacid. The reason this time? Alcohol is in the flavoring agents in Mylanta and AlternaGel but J&J did not bother to mention this on the package insert.
Toyota has run into a boatload of trouble lately. It is hard to imagine a company taking a worse turn. Yet I am still convinced that Toyota makes good cars.
So the question is pretty simple. Is Johnson & Johnson a bad company or has it just run into an awful patch? (This is a mere sampling.) Most of these problems are not related to patient safety. Sure, what happened with Mylanta is crazy but I think the company is right that it is unlikely that Mylanta or AlternaGel will cause either alcohol absorption or alcohol sensitivity problems. (Please note: I don’t really know what I’m talking about here. But I’ll bet.)
But where there is smoke, there is fire. If Johnson & Johnson is making this many mistakes, you can’t help but wonder how many of their products pose safety risks, many of which we may not yet know about (or may never properly link back to the product).