Johnson & Johnson issues Duragesic patch recall due to contamination risk

by Jim Orr

Johnson & Johnson has issued a recall for more than 53,000 Duragesic pain patches after small crystals of the product’s active ingredient were found in at least one patch. The Duragesic patch contains a powerful pain drug known as fentanyl, which is about 100 times more potent than morphine.

According to Johnson & Johnson, the decision to issue the Duragesic recall was made after small white spots were found in one of the patches in the recalled lot. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the patches were recalled after it was determined that these spots were fentanyl crystals. The Fentanyl is supposed to be completely dissolved in the adhesive of the patch and there should be no crystals.

The Johnson & Johnson recall is the latest in a series of Duragesic and fentanyl patch recalls over the last several years. Johnson & Johnson itself had previously recalled Duragesic pain patches in 2004 and 2008 because of damage to the patches that could have resulted in a leak of the extremely potent fentanyl gel. Generic versions of the fentanyl pain patch were also recalled in 2008 by drugmakers Actavis and Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Despite warnings from the FDA in 2005 and 2007 about the dangers of fentanyl, hundreds of deaths and serious injuries have been linked to the use of the pain patch, including former Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett, who died in 2009 from a fentanyl overdose. Hundreds of patients or their families have filed fentanyl lawsuits due to cases of serious injury or death caused by the patch.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is the leading law firm in the country handling fentanyl patch related cases. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled over 250 fentanyl and Duragesic lawsuits on behalf of the families of deceased patients nationwide. Those that have lost a loved one due to Duragesic or other brand fentanyl patches may wish to speak with our attorneys to find out whether they may be eligible to file a case.

To find out if you are eligible to file a Duragesic or fentanyl patch claim, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson to receive a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing our free online case evaluation form.