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Florida reaps $1.6 million from settlement with Johnson & Johnson

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Florida’s share of a settlement with Johnson & Johnson over adulterated over-the-counter drugs will exceed $1.6 million, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Wednesday.

Florida was among 43 states that sued the company and its Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. subsidiary, alleging that they misled consumers into believing that they’d manufactured the medications in FDA-compliant facilities.

In a consent decree dated Wednesday, J&J agreed to pay $33 million to the states and to improve internal and marketing controls. The company pleaded guilty in 2015 to selling liquid medicines contaminated with metal, and agreed to pay $25 million to the federal government.

According to the complaint, J&J’s McNeil-PPC Inc. subsidiary marketed over-the-counter drugs as complying with federal Good Manufacturing Practices between 2009 and 2011 when not all of its plants met those standards. That noncompliance was the equivalent of selling adulterated medicines, the document says.

That document cites recalls in 2009 and 2010 of drugs including Tylenol, Infants and Children Tylenol, Benadryl, Rolaids, Motrin, and Zyrtec.

“When a consumer purchases over-the-counter drugs, they should be able to trust that the medication is produced in a safe facility,” Bondi said in a written statement. “Thanks to collaborative multistate efforts, this settlement will help us better protect consumers buying OTC drugs across the country.”

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