Drugmaker paying $33M over recalled nonprescription meds

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2007 file photo, Tylenol drugs are shown in the drug department at Costco in Mountain View, Calif. According to national surveys of parents and sixth-graders, tweens got a failing grade for knowledge about the proper use of over-the-counter medicines. Only about half knew such medicines can be dangerous when improperly used or mixed with other drugs. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Johnson & Johnson has reached a $33 million settlement with 42 states, resolving allegations the health care giant sold numerous nonprescription medicines that didn’t meet federal quality requirements for a couple of years.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by attorneys general in the states. The case dates to 2009, when Johnson & Johnson began dozens of voluntary recalls of popular over-the-counter medicines for children and adults, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.

Those and several other products, made at J&J factories in Puerto Rico and suburban Philadelphia, were recalled for issues including unpleasant smells, metal shards in liquid medicines and wrong ingredient levels. Many products weren’t available in stores for years.

In a statement, J&J said it was pleased to finalize the settlement and that the recalls were precautionary.