FDA cracks down on JNJ unit for ‘manufacturing deficiencies’ (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news, shares of hospital operator HCA (NYSE:HCA) rose in its first day of trading; the company’s $3.79 billion public offering became the largest ever for a private equity-backed company.

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FDA cracks down on JNJ unit: A Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary that makes Tylenol among other drugs is now barred from making or distributing drugs until the facilities regain regulatory compliance. The Food and Drug Administration said that the company, McNeil-PPC, had “manufacturing deficiencies” resulting in several recalls involving products such as Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. A consent decree from the U.S. Department of Justice requires McNeil to destroy all drugs under McNeil’s control from the facilities in Puerto Rico and Pennsylvannia. They can’t reopen until an independent expert determines they’ve regained compliance. Violating the decree could subject McNeil to fines up to $10 million annually. An internal note sent to employees from J&J CEO Bill Weldon said in part: “We are a company that strives to do the right thing, and we succeed far more often than not. When we don’t succeed, it’s painful. But consistent with Our Credo, we take responsibility for our actions, and we learn from our mistakes.”

HCA does A-OK in IPO. HCA (NYSE:HCA), the once publicly-traded hospital operator taken private in 2006, is now public again in a $3.79 billion public offering, the largest private equity-backed IPO ever. The company’s shares rose 3.6 percent in its first day of trading.

Political appointment? Former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler is on the short list for a cabinet post – Secretary of Commerce.

Rules for genetic tests. The American Medical Association wants stronger FDA regulations on genetic tests sold to consumers, saying patients should only use them under the guidance of a medical professional.

Diamonds – an oncologist’s best friend. Northwestern University researchers are working on a way to use nanodiamonds as a cancer-fighting tool, reports NPR.

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Dude? Whoa... Medical marijuana gets closer to approval in New Hampshire as a bill advances through the legislature.

Dealflow. Walgreens sells PBM unit to Catalyst Health Solutions for $525 million. Epizyme gets $6 million upfront and stands to earn a potential $200 million in milestones from Eisai in a cancer drug deal. Intuity Medical, maker of a blood glucose monitoring system, has secured a $20 million credit facility.