Here's a post from the NY Times Helath blog via the PharmaGossip blog. It details J&J's decision to layoff 75% of the workers in the J&J Fort Washington, PA plant responsible for producing a series of recalled children's and adults OTC medicines - including Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, and Zyrtec among others.
The recalls have not only resulted in economic loss to the Company in terms of sales of those products, the recalls have cost J&J dearly in terms of its reputation. Congressional investigators are still probing how J&J conducted itself during this so-called "phantom recall", as J&J tried to pull back product from the distribution channel without informing consumers and regulators that there was a problem. This type of ethical lapse has gone a long way toward undermining (destroying) the reputation of a company known for high ethical standards in its handling of the famour 1982 Tylenol crisis.
Now more than 300 workers in the Fort Washington plant pay with their jobs. J&J indicates that it may never reopen this plant and it could close for good in early 2011. The Pharmalot blog asks this morning if job losses should be confined only to these workers? Or should the management Team at McNeil lose their jobs?
Given the hundreds of millions in lost revenues, lost Company reputation, lost morale internally, and the closing of the facility with concommittent employee job loss - I think 'sauce for the goose' is appropriate. Key management didn't do its job to produce a safe and effective product, and then tried to cover it up. Why not share the pain at the top?
Posted by Bruce Lehr July 16th 2010.