Big in Japan: Johnson & Johnson's Contact Lens Recall


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) broadened its recall of 1 Day Acuvue TruEye contact lenses to almost 500,000 boxes in October from the 100,000 boxes it recalled in August, but only announced the wider recall in Japan at the time, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The company said it restricted its announcement to a Japanese press release because three-quarters of the recalled contact lenses were sold in Japan. None of the recalled lenses, which represent less than 1% of contact lenses made by the company, were sold in the U.S.

The recall stemmed from customer complaints about eye-stinging from the lenses. The company later found that an acid used in the lens-making process wasn't adequately rinsed from the product before being sold, according to Reuters.

The world's largest health-products company has recently recalled a series of products, including Motrin and Children's Tylenol. In September, Johnson & Johnson CEO William Weldon apologized to Congress for the recalls and said the company was investing more than $100 million in improving operations at a division that produces children's medicine.

The company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit last year engaged in a so-called "phantom recall" of Motrin when some of the tablets didn't dissolve as quickly as they were supposed to. J&J hired an outside contractor to buy bottles of Motrin from retailers and subsequently destroy the bottles, but later issued a formal recall.

Still, investors didn't seem too concerned about the news. Johnson & Johnson shares rose 1.4% to close at $62.42 on Wednesday.

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