The Tylenol Murders Case Summary

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Background: The Tylenol Murders In September 1982, the first victim, a twelve year old, takes an Extra-Strength Tylenol capsule. The child died in the hospital, and it was discovered the capsule was contaminated with cyanide. There were seven other victims who took the medication and died suddenly. The very thought of taking a just headache medicine produced panic and fear across the United States. All seven victims were from the Chicago area and ranged in age from 12 to 35 years, with three of the victims coming from the same family (This Day in History: The Tylenol Murders, 2014). After investigating, it was discovered the contaminated capsules had taken from shelves, and an individual deliberately tainted the capsules with cyanide, replacing…show more content…
The reaction from Johnson and Johnson, the maker of Tylenol, to this crisis, was quick and assertive. They began by initiating an enormous public relations campaign urging the public not to use Tylenol (This Day in History: The Tylenol Murders, 2014). In addition, Johnson and Johnson ordered a recall of more than 31 million bottles of Tylenol (Bell, n.d.). The relationship with consumers and their reputation was at stake as well as the future of the company was dependent on the manner Johnson and Johnson handled the crisis. The predicament they encountered was the fact that Tylenol, once trusted by millions globally, was now associated with death and murder. Johnson and Johnson first notified and informed the public, and then set out to locate the source of the poisoning, determining whether the Tylenol capsules were contaminated at the factory or another location (Bell, n.d.). Johnson and Johnson had to calm fear of the public by immediately delivering an alert from coast-to-coast warning the public, physicians and distributors of the tainted drugs. The recall cost roughly $125,000,000 (Bell,…show more content…
Other ways Johnson and Johnson managed the crisis with consumers was by inspecting the factories where the contaminated bottles were produced to ascertain whether or not the cyanide was placed into the Tylenol capsules in the course of production. Finally, the president of Johnson & Johnson at the time, David Clare, went to Washington D.C., and briefed Congress on the project for creating a new, tamper-proof bottle (Bell, n.d.). As stated in the text, “Communicating ‘immediate actions ‘and relevant information may be the factor that determines the ultimate effectiveness of a recovery and should not be left to chance” (Graham & Kaye, 2006). Business continuity management necessitates that there be different approaches taken for different

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