UN Pact Scuttles Anti-Vaccine Provision

Jill Wechsler Washington EditorA new international agreement to reduce mercury contamination of air and water was recently adopted by 140 countries, without a proposal that threatened to limit access to vaccines in much of the world. The credit goes to public health authorities and medical experts who challenged a provision blocking production of vaccines with the preservative thimerosal, the formulation necessary for efficient vaccine distribution in developing countries. Banning thimerosal in vaccines “would be a tragedy” that put millions of children at risk, stated GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization) director Seth Berkley in the New York Times (Jan. 17, 2013). Read more »

Let’s Fight Adulteration with Information

Erik Greb PharmTech editorEconomically motivated adulteration became a major concern after heparin manufactured by Baxter Healthcare was contaminated with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate. FDA told the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that getting information from industry about potential instances of economic adulteration is crucial to addressing the problem. Companies have been reluctant to share this information, but a GAO report suggests a possible solution. Read more »

Could Wild Gudgeon Be Canaries in a Coal Mine?

Erik Greb PharmTech editor

Concern about pharmaceuticals in our water supply has been in the public consciousness for a few years now. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency found traces of various drugs in fish caught in rivers that receive effluent from wastewater-treatment plants. The drugs were believed to come from doses that people had excreted or flushed down the toilet. In response, FDA updated its guidelines for disposing of drugs. New research, however, shows another potential source of drugs in our waterways. Read more »

J&J’s Fort Washington Plant Cited for Quality Problems; Two Vice-Chairmen Appointed

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorMcNeil Consumer Healthcare, a business unit of Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ), failed to ensure the quality of over-the-counter consumer products, according to the Form 483 report released by the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. Read more »

New Report Addresses Pharma Execs’ Top Supply-Chain Concerns

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorIndustry executives revealed their biggest worries for global supply-chain management in a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the analyst firm Axendia that focused on major areas of concern in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The report, titled Achieving Global Supply Chain Visibility, Control & Collaboration in Life Sciences: Business Imperative, Regulatory Necessity, surveyed 112 executives from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology sectors. Read more »

J&J CEO, FDA to Testify at Second Congressional Hearing Today

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorJohnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO William Weldon is scheduled to testify at today’s hearing held by the The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Weldon is expected to answer questions about J&J/McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s April 30, 2010, recall of more than 135 million bottles of infants’ and children’s medication. Read more »

More J&J Quality Problems Revealed with New Recall

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorQuality improvements at Johnson & Johnson was the focus of last week’s news about the company. This week, unfortunately, it’s back to recalls and warning letters. Read more »

J&J Plans to Improve Manufacturing Quality

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorJohnson & Johnson’s CEO William Weldon told The Wall Street Journal this week that the company will change its manufacturing operations and create a new position responsible for company-wide quality that reports directly to him. The company’s numerous recalls and manufacturing problems during the past year have resulted in a Congressional hearing and harsh words from FDA inspectors—in addition to shaken consumer confidence. Read more »

Lundbeck Voluntarily Recalls Injectable Ibuprofen Used to Treat Premature Infants

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorLundbeck (Deerfield, IL) issued a voluntary recall of its anti-inflammatory drug NeoProfen (ibuprofen lysine) Injection last Friday because it contains visible particulates, according to a company press release. The recall will cause a temporary shortage of the drug because the company recalled both lots that are currently available to prescribers. Read more »

A Timeline of J&J/McNeil’s Recent Recall Troubles

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorJohnson & Johnson and its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit have been all over the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Another recall was issued last week, as was news of a class-action lawsuit in the works against the company. The timeline below summarizes the recent events surrounding J&J/McNeil’s recalls and news. Read more »

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