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January 12, 2023

Pressley, Warren, Clark, Trahan Demand Answers from Johnson & Johnson on Shortage of Infant & Children’s Tylenol and Motrin

Shortage comes during cold and flu season, compounded by a surge of RSV and COVID-19

Letter Text (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), alongside U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05), and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03), sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson CEO Joaquin Duato demanding answers on the manufacturer’s efforts to address and resolve the shortage of infant and children’s Tylenol and Motrin in Massachusetts and across the country. This shortage is exacerbating an already challenging cold and flu season, compounded by a surge of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19, that has overwhelmed pediatric healthcare providers.

“Families in the Commonwealth are relying on access to ibuprofen and acetaminophen in order to care for their babies,” the lawmakers wrote. “In recent public statements, Johnson & Johnson reported an increase in production to meet growing demand. However, our constituents are still visiting store after store only to find empty shelves.”

The lawmakers requested information from Johnson & Johnson to better understand the scale and scope of the shortage and inform their collaboration with hospitals, community health centers, child welfare advocates, and other health care providers to support families with children in the Commonwealth. They requested an urgent response to the following questions by January 20th:

  • On what date did Johnson & Johnson become aware internally of the pending Infant & Children’s Tylenol and Motrin shortage in North America?
  • On what date did Johnson & Johnson provide voluntary notice to U.S. Food and Drug Administration on this shortage?
  • How much has production increased? By what date will that increase in production match demand?
  • By what date will normal availability of product in Massachusetts be restored?
  • Please provide any data that Johnson and Johnson has on regional and city-by-city impact in an aim of further understanding the scale and scope of this shortage.

“It is essential that information on supply and production is made available to Members of Congress in order to understand the scale and scope of the ‘spot shortage’ impacting our constituents,” the lawmakers continued.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Congresswoman Pressley has been a steadfast advocate to address shortages of baby formula, food, and medicines that have impacted the Commonwealth and the nation.

  • On May 17, 2022, Rep. Pressley urged President Biden to use all applicable executive authorities to end the baby formula shortage. During that time, she also served on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which requested information from the nation’s largest formula manufacturers on their efforts to address the shortage of infant formula that was impacting families across the United States. 
  • On May 17, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-05) and the Massachusetts delegation, sent a letter to Abbott Laboratories Chairman and CEO Robert Ford requesting urgent information on the company’s plans to replenish its Similac baby formula in Massachusetts.
  • In December 2020, Rep. Pressley, Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02), and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) lead the Massachusetts delegation in demanding answers from USDA administrators that oversee the Families Food Box Program and are requested a meeting with the USDA to discuss the challenges that food box recipients and distributors are facing in Massachusetts.