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McNeil Consumer Healthcare Statement on its Manufacturing Operations

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McNeil Consumer Healthcare is today announcing two actions related to its ongoing efforts to upgrade the quality of its manufacturing operations, and I wanted to share with you their statement:

McNeil Statement on Plan Submission

Today McNeil Consumer Healthcare has submitted to the FDA a comprehensive action plan on quality improvement. The submission details the next steps to be taken by McNeil to ensure that its operations meet the level of quality that consumers expect of us, and that we expect of ourselves.

McNeil looks forward to the FDA’s review of the plan and to working with the Agency moving forward. McNeil already has taken a number of significant steps to enhance quality, and is taking a systemic approach to strengthening quality through longer term improvements.

The plan addresses a number of areas, including:

  • Assessment and improvement of management controls;
  • Improvements in quality processes;
  • Interim controls and the use of outside experts to provide additional product quality assurance while the plan is being finalized and implemented;
  • Significant investment in manufacturing facilities, equipment, and laboratories, and;
  • A comprehensive program to ensure sustainable compliance with regulatory and McNeil quality requirements.

McNeil is committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to improve quality and earn consumers’ trust.

Statement on Fort Washington Plant

Consistent with its commitment to improve quality across its manufacturing operations, McNeil Consumer Healthcare will make a significant investment in re-fitting its Fort Washington manufacturing facility with new equipment, and will reorganize the plant’s operations. As a result, McNeil anticipates that the plant will be out of service for a protracted period of time. Regrettably, McNeil will be reducing staffing levels at the facility.

About 300 of the over 400 positions at the Fort Washington manufacturing plant are being eliminated as a result of this difficult decision. Employees whose positions are eliminated will be offered transitional support for the next year, including outplacement assistance, career counseling and professional support services to help them find a new position. McNeil has continued to provide employees with regular pay and benefits since operations at the plant were suspended in April, and will continue to do so through at least mid-September, at which point they will receive a severance package based on years of service.

When the plant reopens, McNeil anticipates some new hiring, and will provide preferential consideration to previous employees who are qualified for the new positions. However, staffing levels at the reconfigured plant are expected to be substantially lower than they are today.

McNeil is taking steps to expedite production of many of the products that were previously produced at Fort Washington by utilizing other plants in the Johnson & Johnson manufacturing network. As previously announced, although most products are not likely to be available before the end of 2010, McNeil expects to continue to expand its capacity to produce these products through the end of the year and in 2011.

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