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J&J Pulls 12 Million Bottles of Motrin That May Dissolve Slowly

Johnson & Johnson, the health-care company beset by product recalls the last two years, said it was asking retailers to return about 12 million bottles of Motrin over concerns the painkiller may dissolve too slowly.

Tests of product samples showed some caplets may not dissolve as quickly as intended when near their expiration date, J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said in a statement on its website today. While consumers don’t have to return any bottles, it’s possible there may be “a delay in relief” after taking the drug, Bonnie Jacobs, a spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. J&J is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

McNeil agreed in March to give U.S. regulators stepped-up oversight at three manufacturing plants, after the division had to pull tens of millions of packages of over-the-counter drugs for quality concerns. Today’s recall covers Motrin distributed in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Fiji, Belize, the Bahamas, St. Lucia and Jamaica, according to the statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all the listed products since there is a chance they could experience a similar problem as they approach expiration,” the company said.

The recall covers lots of Motrin IB 24-count coated caplets, Motrin IB 24-count coated tablets and Motrin IB 24+6 count coated caplets. Jacobs said the cause of the problem is under investigation. There’s no sign other Motrin products have been affected, she said.

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