CVS Pulls All 22 Ounce J&J Baby Powder From Stores

By Reuters Staff

October 28, 2019

(Reuters) - Pharmacy retailer CVS Health Corp said on Thursday it is pulling all 22 ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder from its stores and online to comply with the U.S. healthcare conglomerate's recall last week of a lot of 22 oz bottles due to possible asbestos contamination.

CVS said it is recalling the bottles out of caution and to prevent customer confusion, and added all other sizes of the talc will remain on its shelves.

J&J's shares fell nearly 2% following the news.

J&J, which is facing thousands of lawsuits over a variety of products, said last week it was recalling around 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after U.S. health regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.

The move marked the first time J&J recalled its iconic baby powder for possible asbestos contamination, and the first time U.S. regulators have announced a finding of asbestos in the product.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has been linked to deadly mesothelioma.

The voluntary recall was limited to one lot of Johnson's Baby Powder produced and shipped in the United States in 2018, J&J had said. The company added that testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as recently as a month ago found no asbestos in their talc.

Commenting on CVS's move, J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz said, "It's temporary ... They are doing it storewide because they don't have the resources to go through at the store level and check all the SKUs (stock keeping units), check all the lot numbers."

Customers who purchased the product from CVS Pharmacy should discontinue use, and can return it for a refund, the pharmacy chain said.

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