Last week, Johnson & Johnson issued is nth (I’ve lost count, we’re well above 50 now) for the anti-epilepsy drug Topamax. As it turns out, the Topamax product has the same musty order as other products which have been contaminated with the pesticide 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA).
The recall effects Topamax that was manufactured and shipped between October 19, 2010 and December 28, 2010. No word from J&J on why it waited over 4 months to initiate the recall.
No word from J&J on how this happened. Topamax is manufactured at an entirely different plant in Puerto Rico that has not previously seen manufacturing problems and is not covered by J&J’s consent decree with the FDA.
Remember the quote from the great J&J CEO William Weldon in which he said there are no systemic problems at J&J? Remember that? Help me out here – if you have the same problem at different J&J manufacturing plants, run by different J&J operating companies, under different leadership, with supposedly different quality organizations, and all of this in different countries which all yield the same result – is that not by definition a SYSTEMIC problem? Let’s review Weldon’s quote: “I think that everything has been overshadowed by one company [McNeil]” and continues by saying, “This is not a systemic problem. This is not an issue around J&J.” William Weldon is either engaging in bold face lies for the sake of his (massive) personal bonus or else he’s too stupid to understand what a systemic problem actually is. If J&J ever has a hope at recovery, it needs to dump the albatross of William Weldon.