Entries in Johnson & Johnson (10)


Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon Stepping Down 

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Johnson & Johnson has chosen a new CEO as it tries to recover from a series of product recalls.  Effective April 26, 2012 -- the day of the company's annual shareholder's meeting -- current CEO Bill Weldon will hand the reins over to Alex Gorsky, a Johnson & Johnson veteran.

Sixty-three-year-old Weldon, who has served as CEO of Johnson & Johnson since 2002 and will remain on the company's board of directors as chairman, said the selection process for his successor was thorough.

"This succession decision involved a rigorous, thorough and formal multi-year process, which included consideration of two superbly qualified internal candidates, as well as outside candidates," Weldon said, according to a company statement.  He added, "The future of Johnson & Johnson is in very capable hands."

Gorsky first joined Johnson & Johnson as a sales rep for Janssen Pharmaceutica. By 2001, Gorksy had advanced his way to president of Janssen.  In 2003, he was promoted to oversee Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before leaving the company in 2004.  Gorsky returned to Johnson & Johnson after four years as head of pharmaceuticals in North America at Novartis.  In 2009, Gorsky was appointed as worldwide chairman of the surgical care group as well as the company's executive committee.

Gorsky, 51, has also been nominated for election to the company's board of directors.

Johnson & Johnson generated $65 billion in sales in 2011, according to Bloomberg.  Still, the quality of various recalled products from artificial hips to OTC brands such as Tylenol have cost the company more than $1 billion in lost sales, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to Bloomberg, Gorsky will earn $1.2 million as the ninth CEO of the world's second largest health care company.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Listerine Cancer Worry? Company Claims Johnson & Johnson Killed Product

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The maker of a product designed to detect oral cancer is suing Johnson & Johnson, claiming the pharmaceutical giant prevented its product from reaching the marketplace amid concerns about a ubiquitous J&J product, Listerine.

The lawsuit by the company, Oral Cancer Prevention International Inc., claims J&J worried that consumers might link Listerine with oral cancer, a disease that affects 30,000 Americans every year, because of a 2008 study published in Australia.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the symptoms of oral cancer can include bleeding inside of the mouth and loss of teeth.

"The potential that could have to sales of Listerine for J&J would be absolutely devastating," said Philip Hoffman, an attorney for the plaintiff company, OCPI.

On July 6, OCPI sued J&J for at least $60 million for protecting the sales of Listerine over the distribution of its product, the OralCDx Brush Test, which helps to detect and prevent oral cancer, according to the OCPI lawsuit.

The OCPI website says that the BrushTest is used to determine if a common oral spot contains abnormal cells that may develop into oral cancer. The company claims that in the last 10 years, the BrushTest has helped to prevent more than 21,000 cases of oral cancer.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman Marcus Boston refused to comment on the case beyond a prepared statement emailed to ABC News.

"Johnson & Johnson is aware of the complaint that has been filed by OCPI," the statement read. "The company is confident that we have engaged in proper business practices and we look forward to the opportunity to resolve this matter through the legal system."

But according to the OCPI lawsuit, J&J took measures to thwart OCPI's product.

On the evening of Dec. 16, 2009, according to the lawsuit, OCPI was poised to sign an agreement with OraPharma Inc., then a J&J unit, that would give OraPharma exclusive rights to sell the Oral CDx Brush Test to all U.S. dentists. But suddenly, Hoffman said, J&J advised OraPharma to "stand down" and not sign the sales agreement. Hoffman alleged Johnson & Johnson was leery of highlighting a possible link between Listerine and oral cancer.

"They feared that if OraPharma would go to the same dentist [who bought Listerine] to sell a product that deals with oral cancer," he said, "the public may make the connection: 'I wonder why they are coming out with a brush test? Are they doing it because they are afraid that Listerine is causing oral cancer?'"

In 2008, The Australian Dental Journal published an article on a study that found "there is now sufficient evidence" that "alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer." The same article added, "It is inadvisable for oral healthcare professionals to recommend the long-term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes."

Although the study did not mention Listerine or any specific brands, Listerine antiseptic mouthwash may contain up to 26 percent alcohol, according to the Listerine website. After the 2008 article was published, the sale of Listerine in Australia tanked by 50 percent, said the OCPI lawsuit.

But in 2009, the American Dental Association released a statement that expressed the opposite conclusion. In the statement, the ADA said "scientific experts generally agree that...evidence does not support a connection between oral cancer and alcohol-containing mouthrinse."

The American Dental Association told ABC News that these findings still hold true in 2011.

According to the Listerine website, several Listerine products have been awarded the official ADA "Seal of Acceptance." The ADA also endorsed OCPI's Brush Test, Hoffman said.

OCPI is accusing J&J on three separate counts, including fraud, for which it is seeking a minimum of $60 million and at least $10 million in punitive damages on each of the three counts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


J&J Recalls Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets for Musty Odor

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(FORT WASHINGTON, Pa.) -- Johnson & Johnson is recalling more than 60,000 bottles of Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets in the U.S. after consumers reported the presence of a musty, moldy odor.

The odor has been linked to a chemical known as 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA), which results from the breakdown of an agent in wood pallets used to transport and store the product’s packaging materials.

The recall is the latest in a string of related problems for Tylenol manufacturer McNeil Healthcare LLC.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration slammed McNeil for what it called a slow response to a similar problem that led a number of consumers to become sick from tainted pills.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Johnson & Johnson Reports First Quarter Earnings

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Johnson & Johnson posted nearly $16.2 billion in total sales for the first quarter of 2011 -- a 3.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year -- and net earnings close to $3.5 billion, or $1.25 per share.

The company on Tuesday also increased its earnings guidance for the year.

“Our pharmaceuticals business demonstrated strong growth this quarter led by the performance of recently launched products,” said J&J CEO William Weldon. “We delivered solid earnings while making the investments necessary to advance the robust pipelines across our businesses.”

Domestic sales decreased 13.8 percent, the company said, while international sales increased 5.9 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: J&J in Talks to Buy Synthes

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Johnson & Johnson is in preliminary talks to buy US-Swiss medical equipment maker Synthes, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

The deal is expected to be valued at around $20 billion and serve as a key to further diversify J&J.

Although it's unclear how far the conversations have progressed, shares of Synthes rose 6.2 percent Friday as speculation about the sale grew.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


J&J Pays $70M to Settle Bribery Allegations

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Johnson & Johnson will pay $70 million to settle U.S. and U.K. charges that it paid bribes to gain business overseas. This comes after being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The allegations date back to 1998 when J & J subsidiaries paid bribes to doctors in Greece, Iraq, Poland and Romania to gain contracts or to get them to use the company's products.

J & J has not commented on the allegations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Johnson & Johnson Recalls Yet More Tylenol

Cristina Arias/Getty Images(FORT WASHINGTON, Penn.) -- The trouble continues for Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Tylenol. Yet another lot of its adult pain relievers have been recalled voluntarily because of complaints about a strange, musty odor.

Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Health division has now announced it is recalling one lot -- roughly 34,000 150-count bottles -- of Tylenol 8 Hour Extended Release Caplets.

"McNeil is taking this action as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring efforts that identified a small number of complaints of a musty or moldy odor," McNeil said in a statement.

The company said it believes the odor is caused by trace amounts of chemicals called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA) and 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA).

TBA comes from the breakdown of a chemical in wood pallets used to transport and store the packaging materials for the bottles.

In October 2010, McNeil recalled roughly 128,000 bottles of the same caplets. In July 2010, McNeil announced a recall of 21 different product lots, including Children's Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin. And in the largest recall of children's medicine in history, Johnson & Johnson pulled more than 136 million bottles of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl -- more than 40 products in all -- in April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Shortage of O.B. Tampons Causes Rush, Boosts Prices Online

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- The shortage of a popular brand of tampons has alarmed women who are so loyal to this most intimate of necessities that they have been willing to pay exorbitant amounts when they can find them online.

The disappearance of the o.b. brand tampons from store shelves has boosted prices on eBay to as much as $100 for a set of three boxes of 40 tampons. Boxes of the o.b. tampons typically cost around $8.

"I just figured that my store was out and hadn't been restocking them, but when I went to three or four more stores and realized those shelves were empty too, I was panicking," said Debbie Ronca.

Luckily, Ronca didn't have to pay the eBay price to replenish her supply and instead received boxes of her favorite tampons from her sister for Christmas, who shipped them to Ronca's Tennessee home from Florida.

Ronca, like many other women, became loyal consumers of o.b. brand tampons because of their compact size and comfort. The tampons, unlike many of its competitors, come without an applicator and therefore produce less waste than their counterparts.

"Your choice of tampon is a very personal thing," explained Ronca, 42, who says she has been using the o.b. brand for more than 20 years. "When you've been using the same product for that long and it has never changed, it's a little terrifying to think about what you're going to do without that product."

Other women say they use o.b. branded tampons because of they come they offer a higher absorbancy than others.

"It's like getting a fix, when you have something you rely on for years and then it's missing," said Dodai Stewart, the New York-based deputy editor of the popular women's blog Jezebel, who has been covering the tampon shortage for months.

Yukela Williams, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, the company that manufactures o.b. tampons, said in an e-mail to ABC News that customers can expect the product back on shelves soon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mylanta Recall Adds to Johnson & Johnson Woes

Photo Courtesy - Johnson & Johnson/ Mylanta [dot] com(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) -- Health care product giant Johnson & Johnson is adding to its growing list of recalls this year -- this time a dozen types of Mylanta and one Alternagel antacid.

The wholesale and retail level recall was not done due to "adverse effects," the company said, but because an internal review showed the bottles failed to note the alcohol content of some flavoring agents.

"Certain flavoring agents contribute small (<1%) amounts of alcohol," the company said on the Mylanta website.  "It is unlikely that use of these products will cause either absorption or alcohol sensitivity related adverse events."

Johnson & Johnson advised that there was no consumer safety concern related to the recall and the products can still be used as directed.

It's yet another blow to the company whose manufacturer has already made more than half a dozen recalls this year alone, including the largest recall in children's medicine history.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Another Product Recall for Johnson & Johnson

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT WASHINGTON, Pa.) -- Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced a voluntary nationwide recall Monday of one product lot of Tylenol 8 Hour caplets 50 count bottles at the retail level. 

McNeil decided the recall was necessary after receiving "a small number of complaints" about a "musty or moldy odor." 

The company said Monday that this odor is uncharacteristic of this product and thought to be produced by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole.

Johnson & Johnson has recalled other products over the past year for the same or similar reasons.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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