Johnson and Johnson gutted and retooled their Fort Washington facility to come back with a bang with the launch of a new bottle designed for its grape flavored infant liquid Tylenol to guard against accidental overdosing. But instead of accolades, complaints poured in about the protective cover pushing loose when the dosing syringe was inserted. The first new product out of the new facility was added to the long list of recalls that has knocked the once respected Tylenol brand off its pedestal.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand the failure mode of a problem of the plastic protective cover pushing loose when the dosing syringe in inserted. But it does take technical knowledge of different types of plastics used in pharmaceutical packaging and how variation is controlled for plastic molded parts. People actually go to school and learn about this stuff and how to apply this science to real-world pharmaceutical applications.

So what happened at J&J?

I don’t have insider information, but one can only assume that there were no real packaging or quality engineers to be found. Or if they were, they were incompetent. If they were not incompetent, then they kissed their science good-bye—probably under pressure to meet the almighty new product launch date.

Who knows? I’m just reading the tea leaves. All I really know is that J&J blew a huge opportunity to come back with a great packaging concept that veterinary product manufacturers perfected a long time ago.

I am very sad for J&J.

republished and adapted with permission fromĀ the QA Pharm