Illinois, other states settle with Johnson & Johnson for $33 million
Johnson & Johnson will pay $33 million to Illinois and at least 40 other states to settle allegations that a subsidiary falsely claimed it was following federal manufacturing practices — a situation the states said led to the recall of common drugs including Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and Sudafed.
Illinois' portion of the settlement is more than $1 million, which will go to the state, according to the Illinois attorney general's office.
The states alleged that Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil-PPC committed consumer fraud by selling drugs that it falsely claimed were manufactured following federal practices. The Food and Drug Administration found some facilities didn't comply with the practices between 2009 and 2011, according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.
Between 2009 and 2010, there were reports of foreign material, particulate matter or contamination in some of the drugs, according to Madigan's office.
McNeil-PPC pleaded guilty in 2015 to introducing adulterated infants' and children's over-the-counter drugs into interstate commerce. At the time McNeil-PPC paid a criminal fine of $20 million and forefeited another $5 million.
Medications that were recalled included Tylenol, Tylenol for children and infants, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph aspirin, Rolaids and Zyrtec, according to the complaint Illinois filed against the company.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Wednesday that it was "pleased" to finalize the settlement, and noted the drugs were recalled voluntarily. McNeil-PPC did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
"Those recalls were precautionary and not undertaken on the basis of any health or safety risks to consumers, and we remain committed to providing consumers with safe and effective over-the-counter medicines," Johnson & Johnson said in the statement.