AG Schimel and Colleagues Reach $33 Million Settlement with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel along with 42 other state attorneys general have reached a $33 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson over the companies’ alleged misrepresentation of over-the-counter (OTC) drug quality.


“Consumers have a reasonable expectation that over-the-counter drugs, many of which are household names across the country, are meeting regulatory compliance,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Companies that violate this consumer trust and confidence must be held accountable.”


The settlement resolves allegations that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, acting through a wholly-owned subsidiary, McNeil-PPC, Inc., unlawfully promoted OTC drugs.


The complaint in this case alleges Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting their compliance with federally mandated Good Manufacturing Practices.


McNeil’s alleged quality control lapses resulted in recalls of drugs manufactured between 2009 and 2011, including: Tylenol®, Motrin®, Benadryl®, St. Joseph Aspirin®, Sudafed®, Pepcid®, Mylanta®, Rolaids®, Zyrtec®, and Zyrtec Eye Drops®, several of which are indicated for pediatric use.


The Consent Judgment requires McNeil to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote OTC drug products.


In addition to Wisconsin, the following states are participating in the settlement: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.


The State was represented by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin.