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Coming Friday: Use Only as Directed

Use Only as Directed

Coming Friday, our investigation of one of America’s most popular painkillers. More than 1,500 Americans died over the past decade from liver damage after accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and hundreds of other drugs.

As our story will recount, it didn't have to be this way. For decades, the Food and Drug Administration failed to act on recommendations to protect the public. The manufacturer of the leading brand, Tylenol, fought warning labels while promoting the drug’s safety.

McNeil, the Johnson and Johnson unit that makes Tylenol, and the FDA have moved to protect patients. But those steps have not stopped the rising toll of overdoses.

We reported this story alongside This American Life. For a preview of their episode, listen here.


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