Maker of Tylenol reveal new packaging

NEW YORK -- Johnson & Johnson Inc. today introduced a new tamper-resistant package for Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules that were pulled off the market after seven people died from taking capsules laced with cyanide.

The new triple-sealed safety package has glued flaps on the outer box, a tight plastic neck seal and a strong inner foil seal over the mouth of the bottle.


A bright yellow label on the bottle warns consumers not to use the capsules if either of the two seals is broken. The box bears signs announcing safety seals on five of its six surfaces.

The Tylenol capsules were taken off the market six weeks ago following the seven deaths in the Chicago area.

In Newark, N.J., Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Vernon A. Williams, Jr., 34, for allegedly trying to extort $100,000 from J&J by threatening to lace more Tylenol capsules with cyanide. Williams was arrested by the FBI Oct. 30.

The pain reliever capsules, made by McNeil Consumer Products Co. of Ft. Washington, Pa., had an estimated 37 percent of the analgesic market before the Chicago deaths.

J&J spokesman Robert Andrews said Burke would display the new package, briefly discuss plans for reintroducing the capsules in stores, and discuss the impact of the 'Tylenol tragedy' on the company.


It was reported Wednesday PACO Pharmaceutical Services Inc., of Lakewood, N.J., has been selected to produce the new packaging. Neither firm would immediately confirm or deny the report.

Andrews said the news conference -- to be transmitted via closed circuit television to 29 cities, with reporters able to ask questions from Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington -- was the first ever for the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company.

J&J took a $50 million after-tax charge against third-quarter earnings to cover the cost of recalling and destroying 22 million bottles of capsules.

Burke said overall earnings will suffer in the fourth quarter and in 1983 because of the tragedy.

But he noted J&J would invest 'heavily' to re-establish Tylenol's position.

Many analysts say J&J is in for an uphill battle to restore public confidence in Tylenol. But they point out its reputation and financial strenth put it in a good position to succeed.

Except for a brief television campaign in late October asking the public to 'trust' Tylenol, all ads for the product were withdrawn after the deaths, which are still under investigation.

McNeil told stores to stop selling both Extra-Strength and Regular Tylenol and arranged for wholesalers and retailers to return all capsules. The company also launched a program for consumers to swap Tylenol capsules for Tylenol tablets, which were not involved in the cyanide tampering.


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