Zicam: Good Morning America Reported Problems at Matrixx in 2004; FDA Arrives 5 Years later

Last Updated Jul 6, 2009 6:49 PM EDT

ABC's Good Morning America was ahead of the FDA in calling suspicion to Matrixx Initiatives' Zicam, according to an inspection report. The FDA triggered a recall of Zicam in June.

Matrixx said last week that six class-action suits had been filed alleging that its Zicam cold "remedy" can disable a person's sense of smell, plus a another suit featuring 117 plaintiffs.

And law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro said it was probing insider trading at the company (it's jumping on the coattails of the SEC). Lawyers smell blood in the water -- the company has settled 600 Zicam suits in the past.

Last week's FDA report offers some curious clues as to how bad the situation is at Matrixx. Some excerpts:
The firm does not classify and report anosmia (loss of smell) or loss of taste as a serious adverse event and therefore does not report these complaints to the Food and Drug Administration ...
... some degree of anosmia, of either short or long-duration, is complained of by about 3.6 persons for every 100,000 units sold
The peak rate was about 6.7 per 100,000 during 2004, which management said was caused primarily by a negative television show during early 2004.
That TV show was Good Morning America, the report said.
Due to illness, the firm's President and CEO, Carl J. Johnson, was not available for most of the inspection...
Perhaps he was treating a cold with his own product.

Hat tip to IguanaBio.

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