In July, J&J recalled 88,104 packages of Motrin.
The Wall Street Journal said it reviewed internal J&J e-mails indicating some employees knew about the instructions that directed the contractors to pretend they were regular customers. If they were questioned by store employees, they were told to say they were doing a random quality check, not conducting a recall. The instructions turned up in documents given to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Journal said.
A spokeswoman for J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said the company was just trying to remove the affected product with as little disruption as possible and had kept federal regulators and wholesalers informed of its actions.