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P&G Says Encaprin Not Poisoned

April 5, 1986

CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Procter & Gamble Co. says its investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed no evidence that Encaprin capsules had been poisoned, despite a threat by an anonymous caller.

The company said the investigation of the aspirin substitute was thorough, but would not release details.

″As a result, we do remain confident of Encaprin’s efficacy and safety,″ a P&G spokeswoman, who asked not to be identified further, said Friday. ″We are continuing to work with appropriate federal agencies to take steps to protect our customers and products in today’s marketing environment.

″We also are continuing to urge customers to carefully inspect all over- the-counter drug packages before purchase or use.″

An anonymous caller to P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters March 27 on the company’s toll-free consumer hotline claimed he had put cyanide in five bottles of Encaprin and placed them in Walgreen Co. Inc. drug stores in Chicago and Detroit.

P&G officials notified Walgreen headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., and 50- capsule bottles were pulled from the shelves immediately. Within 24 hours, the product had been pulled from 1,100 Walgreen and 1,900 Kroger Co. and SuperX stores.

Kroger and Walgreen officials said they expected to begin restocking Encaprin in their stores nationally.

Paul Bernish, a spokesman for the Cincinnati-based Kroger, said Encaprin was being put back on the shelves in its 1,900 Kroger supermarkets and SuperX drug stores. Bernish said the decision was made after consultation with and assurances of safety by P&G officials.

A Walgreen spokeswoman said company officials were waiting for the official statement from P&G.

P&G and FDA officials had said they believed the threat could be a hoax. The caller gave code numbers for the packages he allegedly contaminated, but those numbers did not match Encaprin code numbers.

In addition, Walgreen has no stores in Detroit, where the caller claimed to have placed some of the poisoned capsules.

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