by William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Painkillers are dangerous enough for adults... but give them to kids, and you'll set them off on a lifelong path of overtreatment and overdoses.
So when they announced a recall of children's meds recently, I wanted to throw a party. Get these things off the shelves -- and keep them off!
Our kids won't get sicker. If anything, they'll get stronger.
McNeil PPC, a division of Johnson & Johnson, was forced to yank 40 of the most common and utterly unnecessary children's meds. These drugs -- including children's versions of Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl -- had more problems than I can name in this space.
It took the FDA 17 pages to list them all!
The feds found bacterial contamination in the raw materials used to make these drugs, and tiny particles of who-knows-what in the meds themselves. They also found problems with "strength, quality and purity," which covers just about everything that could go wrong with a drug.
And if you think these meds come from state-of-the-art labs where people in white coats and facemasks quietly tiptoe around in pristine rooms, you've been watching too much television.
The feds found that these children's meds were being made in filthy, grimy labs -- places where duct tape was used to keep insulation over exposed copper pipes and the manufacturing equipment was covered in dust.
And testing? They don't need no stinkin' testing! The feds said the company didn't bother testing these drugs for contamination... but how could they? The company didn't even have a testing lab for these meds!
In all, the feds found at least 20 serious problems at the Pennsylvania plant where these drugs were thrown together. Other problems included everything from security to quality control to a failure to follow up on complaints.
Parents and grandparents are screaming betrayal, but c'mon -- is this really a surprise? It's not the first time, and I can give you my guarantee that it won't be the last.
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