Industry dealing with antacid recalls

March 1, 2011 at 1:29 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, March 1 (UPI) -- Recalls of U.S. brands of antacids have meant empty shelves, competitors struggling to meet demand and consumers without their favorite brands, makers say.

The recalls throughout 2010 all involve Johnson & Johnson products and brands such as Rolaids, Pepcid and Mylanta. While Pepcid products are slowly returning to store shelves, others are unavailable indefinitely awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, The Indianapolis Star reported Monday.

Competitors such as Tums and similar store brands have increased production to keep up with the increased demand, the newspaper said.

"The Kroger brand has experienced a significant increase in demand -- a significant enough increase that at times we've struggled to keep up in terms of supply," Kroger spokesman John Elliott said.

Last month, Kroger created its own Rolaids-equivalent brand in response to the recalls.

A total of 18 antacids have been recalled for various reasons, including labels that did not reveal alcohol used in flavoring agents, reports of foreign materials found in products, and packaging problems.

The recalls have meant a heavy financial hit to popular brands being consumed by millions of Americans.

Prior to the start of the recalls, sales of antacids nationwide were pulling in an annual $1.2 billion, Drug Store News, a publication on the pharmaceutical industry, reported.

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