Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational corporation founded in 1886 that develops medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods. Its common stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the company is ranked No. 37 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. J&J is one of the world's most valuable companies.
|Traded as||NYSE: JNJ|
S&P 100 Component
S&P 500 Component
New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
|Founders||Robert Wood Johnson I|
James Wood Johnson
Edward Mead Johnson
|Headquarters||One Johnson & Johnson Plaza,|
|Alex Gorsky (Chairman and CEO)|
|Products||See list of Johnson & Johnson products|
Number of employees
McNeil Consumer Healthcare
Johnson & Johnson is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the consumer division being located in Skillman, New Jersey. The corporation includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in 60 countries and products sold in over 175 countries. Johnson & Johnson had worldwide sales of $70.1 billion during calendar year 2015. Johnson & Johnson's brands include numerous household names of medications and first aid supplies. Among its well-known consumer products are the Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson's Baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear facial wash and Acuvue contact lenses.
Johnson & Johnson operates over 250 companies in what is termed "the Johnson & Johnson family of companies". The company operates in three broad divisions; Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals.
|Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies|
|Consumer Healthcare||Medical Devices||Pharmaceuticals|
Skin & Hair Care
Wound Care and Topicals
Oral Health Care
McNeil Consumer Healthcare
Janssen Diagnostics BVBA
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Janssen R&D LLC
Janssen Healthcare Innovation
Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc
Janssen Scientific Affairs
Foundation and early history
Inspired by a speech by antiseptic advocate Joseph Lister, Robert Wood Johnson joined his brothers James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson to create a line of ready-to-use surgical dressings in 1885. The company produced its first products in 1886 and incorporated in 1887. Those products already featured a logo resembling the signature of James Wood Johnson, very similar to the logo used today. It is one of the longest-used company logos in the world.
Robert Wood Johnson served as the first president of the company. He worked to improve sanitation practices in the nineteenth century, and lent his name to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Upon his death in 1910, he was succeeded in the presidency by his brother James Wood Johnson until 1932, and then by his son, Robert Wood Johnson II.
Robert Wood Johnson's granddaughter, Mary Lea Johnson Richards, was the first baby to appear on a Johnson & Johnson baby powder label. His great-grandson, Jamie Johnson, made a documentary called Born Rich about the experience of growing up as the heir to one of the world's greatest fortunes.
1959: McNeil Consumer Healthcare
McNeil Consumer Healthcare was founded on March 16, 1879, by 23-year-old Robert McNeil. In 1904, one of McNeil's sons, Robert Lincoln McNeil, became part of the company, and together they created McNeil Laboratories in 1933. The company focused on direct marketing of prescription drugs to hospitals, pharmacists, and doctors. Development of acetaminophen began under the leadership of Robert L. McNeil, Jr., who later served as the firm's chairman. In 1959, Johnson & Johnson acquired McNeil Laboratories and a year later the company was able to sell Tylenol for the first time ever, without a prescription. In 1977, two subsidiary companies were created: McNeil Medicals Products and McNeil Consumer Products Company (also known as McNeil Consumer Healthcare). The focus of McNeil medicals products is to market prescription drugs. In 1993 McNeil medicals products merged with the Ortho Pharmaceutical to form Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. In 2001 McNeil Consumer Healthcare changed its name to McNeil Consumer & Specialty medicals products. However, it was later changed to "McNeil Consumer Healthcare". The company markets over-the-counter and prescription medicals products including complete lines of Tylenol and Motrin IB (ibuprofen) products for adults and children.
In 1933, Swiss chemist Bernhard Joos set up a small research laboratory in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. This set the basis for the founding of Chemische Industrie-Labor AG (Chemical Industry Laboratory AG or Cilag) on 12 May 1936. In 1959, Cilag joined the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. In the early nineties, the marketing organizations of Cilag and Janssen Pharmaceutica were joined to form Janssen-Cilag. The non-marketing activities of both companies still operate under their original name. Cilag continues to have operations under the Cilag name in Switzerland, ranging from research and development through manufacturing and international services.
In May 2011 Cilag acquired the over-the-counter operations of J B Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Limited for around $260 million. In June 2012, the division announced the acquisition of CorImmun GmbH, and its lead compound, COR-1, a small cyclic peptide in development for the treatment of heart failure. In August 2014, Cilag acquired Covagen a biopharmaceutical company which specializes in the development of multi-specific protein-based therapeutics. As part of the acquisition Cilag will gain access to Covagen's lead drug candidate, COVA 322, a bi-specific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb, is in a Phase Ib study for psoriasis.
1961: Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Janssen Pharmaceuticals can be traced back to 1933. In 1933, Constant Janssen, the father of Paul Janssen, acquired the right to distribute the pharmaceutical products of Richter, a Hungarian pharmaceutical company, for Belgium, the Netherlands and Belgian Congo. On 23 October 1934, he founded the N.V. Produkten Richter in Turnhout. After the Second World War, the name for the company products was changed to Eupharma, although the company name Richter would remain until 1956.
Paul Janssen founded his own research laboratory in 1953 on the third floor of the building in the Statiestraat, still within the Richter-Eurpharma company of his father. On 5 April 1956, the name of the company was changed to NV Laboratoria Pharmaceutica C. Janssen (named after Constant Janssen). On 2 May 1958, the research department in Beerse became a separate legal entity, the N.V. Research Laboratorium C. Janssen. On 24 October 1961, the company was acquired by the American corporation Johnson & Johnson. On 10 February 1964, the name was changed to Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. Between 1990 and 2004, Janssen Pharmaceuticals expanded worldwide, with the company growing in size to approximately 28000 employees worldwide. In 1999, clinical research and non-clinical development become a global organization within Johnson & Johnson. In 2001, part of the research activities was transferred to the United States with the reorganization of research activities in the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development organization. The research activities of the Janssen Research Foundation and the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute were merged into the new global research organization. On 27 October 2004, the Paul Janssen Research Center, for discovery research, was inaugurated.
In August 2013, the company acquired Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. In November 2014, the company acquired Alios BioPharma, Inc. for $1.75 billion. As a result of the purchase, Alios was incorporated into the infectious diseases therapeutic area of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. In March 2015, Janssen licensed Tipofarnib (a farnesyl transferase inhibitor) to Kura Oncology who will assume sole responsibility for developing and commercialising the anti-cancer drug. Later in the same month the company announced that Galapagos Pharma and regained the rights to the anti-inflammatory drug candidate GLPG1690 as well as two other compounds including GLPG1205 (a first-in-class inhibitor of GPR84). Finally, in March, the company acquired XO1 Limited In November 2015, the company acquired Novira Therapeutics, Inc., gaining the lead candidate, NVR 3-778.
DePuy was acquired by J&J in 1998, rolling it into the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices group.
In September 2010, Johnson & Johnson announced it had completed the acquisition of Micrus Endovascular, manufacturer of minimally invasive devices for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Micrus will operate under Codman Neurovascular, a business unit of Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.
On June 14, 2012, Johnson and Johnson completed the acquisition of Synthes for $19.7 billion, which was then integrated with the DePuy franchise to establish the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson which includes: Codman & Shurteff, Inc., DePuy Mitek, Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and DePuy Spine, Inc. In February 2015, DePuy announced it would acquire Olive Medical Corporation. In May 2016, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. acquired Biomedical Enterprises, Inc., an industry leader in small bone fixation. Later in December of the same year, DePuy Synthes announced it would acquire Pulsar Vascular Inc., adding Pulsar to its Codman division.
In January 2017, the company acquired Interventional Spine, Inc. In April 2017, Irish subsidiary DePuy Ireland Unlimited Company announced it would acquire Neuravi, a company with a portfolio of products for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes for an undisclosed sum, with Codman Neuro being behind the deal. In June, DePuy Synthes Products, Inc. announced it would acquire Innovative Surgical Solutions, LLC (trading as Sentio, LLC) for an undisclosed sum, bolstering the company's technology for innovative nerve localisation in spinal surgery.
1999: Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Janssen Biotech, Inc., formerly known as Centocor Biotech, Inc., is a biotechnology company that was founded in Philadelphia in 1979. In 1982, Centocor transitioned into a publicly traded company. In 1999, Centocor became a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Since the acquisition, Janssen Biotech increased its annual sales from $500 million to more than $2 billion. During the same period, research and development investment increased from $75 million to more than $300 million.
In 2008, Centocor, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Inc. merged to form Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. In June 2009 Johnson & Johnson, through a new wholly owned subsidiary, Kite Merger Sub, Inc., announced it would purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. for $43.00 in cash or around $970 million. In the same year, Johnson & Johnson Nordic AB acquired Amic, developer of in vitro diagnostic, further strengthening the Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics division.
In June 2010, Centocor Ortho Biotech acquired RespiVert, a privately held drug discovery company focused on developing small-molecule, inhaled therapies for the treatment of pulmonary diseases. In June 2011, Centocor Ortho Biotech changed its name to Janssen Biotech, Inc. as part of a global effort to unite the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies around the world under a common identity. In December 2014, the company announced it would co-develop MacroGenics cancer drug candidate (MGD011) which targets both CD19 and CD3 proteins in treating B-cell malignant tumours. This could net MacroGenics up to $700 million. In January 2015, the company announced it will utilise Isis Pharmaceuticals' RNA-targeting technology to discover and develop antisense drugs targeting autoimmune disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, with the partnership potentially generating up to $835 million for Isis. In May 2018, Janssen announced it would acquire BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
In December 2019 XBiotech Inc. announced it would sell its novel antibody treatment (bermekimab) that neutralizes interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1⍺) to Janssen Biotech, Inc. for $750 million plus up to a further $600 million.
In 1915, George F. Merson opened a facility in Edinburgh for the manufacturing, packaging and sterilizing of catgut, silk and nylon sutures. Johnson & Johnson acquired Mr. Merson's company in 1947, and this was renamed Ethicon Suture Laboratories. In 1953 this became Ethicon Inc. In 1992, Ethicon was restructured, and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. became a separate corporation. During the 1990s, Ethicon diversified into new and advanced products and technologies and formed four different companies under the Ethicon umbrella, each of which specializes in different products.
In 2008 J&J announced it would acquire Mentor Corporation for $1 billion and merge its operations into Ethicon. In the same year, Ethicon acquired Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. for $25 per share, or $438 million in total. In May 2012 Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment Ltd announced it would acquire surgery blood clotting developer, Guangzhou Bioseal Biotechnology Co., Ltd. In March 2016, J&Js Ethicon business unit announced it would acquire NeuWave Medical, Inc. In January 2017, J&J subsidiary Ethicon announced it would acquire Megadyne Medical Products, Inc., a medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets electrosurgical tools. In February 2017, Ethicon acquired medical device manufacturer, Torax Medical for an undisclosed sum. In June 2018, the business announced that Advanced Sterilization Products would be sold off to Fortive Corporation for around $2.8 billion.
In February 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced that Ethicon had agreed to acquire surgical robotic company, Auris Health Inc, for $3.4 billion in cash and over $2.3 billion in contingent payments based on performance.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery was part of Ethicon Inc. until 1992, when it became a separate corporate entity under the J&J umbrella. In 2008 Ethicon Endo-Surgery acquired tissue sealing system developer, SurgRx, Inc. In September 2011 the business acquired SterilMed, Inc.
In January 2017, J&J fought off competition from Sanofi to acquire Swiss drugmaker Actelion. Later in the month J&J announced a $30 billion deal, the largest ever pursued by the company, to purchase the Swiss company Actelion and to spin off its research and development unit, into a separate legal entity. In March, the company declared its tender offer for Swiss biotechnology company Actelion successful on Friday, reporting that Janssen Holding GmbH controlled 77.2 percent of the voting rights after the main offer period, equating to 83,195,346 Actelion shares. In keeping with earlier agreements, the company announced its intention to delist Actelion, whilst spinning out its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly created Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company, Idorsia Ltd. J&J will control 16% of Idorsia, with the ability to raise their stake to 32% through convertible notes.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
In July 2016, J&J announced its intention to acquire the privately held company, Vogue International LLC, boosting Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. In September of the same year, J&J announced it would acquire Abbott Medical Optics from Abbott Laboratories for $4.325 billion, adding the new division into Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
In July 2017, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc announced that its Abbott Medical Optics subsidiary would acquire TearScience, who recently received FDA approval for an office-based approach to imaging meibomian glands and treating meibomian gland dysfunction. In September, the company acquired subscription-based contact lens startup Sightbox.
In 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced the release of photochromic contact lenses. The lenses adjust to sunlight and help eyes recover from bright light exposure faster. The lenses contain a photochromic additive that adapts visible light amounts filtered to the eyes and are the first to use such additives.
In October 2010, J&J acquired Crucell for $2.4 billion and will operate as the centre for vaccines, within the wider Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals group.
In November 2015, Biosense Webster, Inc. acquired Coherex, Medical Inc. expanding the companies range of treatment options for patients with atrial fibrillation.
In March 2018, the company announced that LifeScan, Inc. would be sold off to Platinum Equity for around $2.1 billion. In September of the same year Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH acquired Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH, manufacturer of 3D-printed titanium interbody implants for spinal fusion surgery.
For the fiscal year 2018, Johnson & Johnson reported earnings of US$15.3 billion, with an annual revenue of US$81.6 billion, an increase of 6.7% over the previous fiscal cycle. Johnson & Johnson's shares traded at over $126 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$367.5 billion in September 2018.
Current members of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson for 2019 are: Alex Gorsky, Mary C. Beckerle, D. Scott Davis, Ian E. L. Davis, Jennifer A. Doudna, Mark B. McClellan, Anne M. Mulcahy, William D. Perez, Charles Prince, A. Eugene Washington, Marillyn A. Hewson and Ronald A. Williams.
Sandi Peterson has served as Group Worldwide Chairman since 2012.
On top of Alex Gorsky and Sandi Peterson, current members of Executive Committees of Johnson & Johnson are: Dominic Caruso (the company's chief financial officer), Peter Fasolo, Paul Stoffels, and Michael Sneed.
Headquarters and the New Brunswick gentrification
The company has historically been located on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in New Brunswick. The company considered moving its headquarters out of New Brunswick in the 1960s, but decided to stay in the town after city officials promised to revitalize downtown New Brunswick by demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones. While New Brunswick lost many historic structures, including the early home of Rutgers University, and most of its historic commercial waterfront to the redevelopment effort, the gentrification did attract people back to New Brunswick. Johnson & Johnson hired Henry N. Cobb from Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design its new headquarters. Johnson and Johnson Plaza, in a park across the railroad tracks from the older portion of the headquarters, is one of tallest buildings in New Brunswick.
The stretch of Delaware and Raritan canal by the company's headquarters was replaced by a stretch of Route 18 in the late 1970s, after a lengthy dispute. In 2002, the company released its plan of setting up Asia-Pacific information technology headquarters in New South Wales within five years.
The company's business is divided into three major segments, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Consumer Products. In 2015, these segments contributed 44.9%, 35.9%, and 19.2%, respectively, of the company's total revenues.
The company's major franchises in the Pharmaceutical segment include Immunology, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease, and Oncology.
Immunology products include the anti-tumor necrosis factor antibodies Remicade (infliximab), and Simponi (golimumab) used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease (Remicade only), ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, and other disorders. In 2013, these two products accounted for 29% of Johnson and Johnson's pharmaceutical revenues, and 11.3% of the company's total revenues. A third immunology product, Stelara (ustekinumab), targets interleukin-12 and interleukin-23 and is used for the treatment of psoriasis.
The company's CNS products include the ADHD drug Concerta (methylphenidate extended release), and the long-acting injectable antipsychotics Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) and Risperdal Consta (risperidone). Invega Sustenna and Risperdal Consta were the first widely utilized long-acting depot injections for the treatment of schizophrenia. Designed to address the issue of poor patient compliance with oral therapy, they are administered by intramuscular injection at intervals of 2 weeks and one month, respectively. Only minimal improvements in outcomes relative to the oral versions of these drugs were observed in the clinical trial setting, but some evidence suggests that the advantages of long-acting injections in clinical practice may be greater than is readily demonstrated in the environment of a clinical trial.
Oncology products include Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma and Zytiga (abiraterone), an androgen antagonist for the treatment of prostate cancer. In clinical trials, abiraterone treatment was associated with a 4.6 to 5.2 survival advantage when used either before or after chemotherapy with platinum-based drugs. On December 31, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Sirturo (bedaquiline), a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the infection in more than forty years.
Historically notable drugs include Incivio (telaprevir) for treating hepatitis C, whose sales declined from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $106 million in 2016 as competing curative drugs emerged. HIV drugs include Edurant (rilpivirine), Intelence (etravirine) and Prezista (darunavir) but as of 2018, the most significant of these only accounted for around 2% of total revenue at $211 million.
In March 2019 the FDA approved esketamine for the treatment of severe depression, which is marketed as Spravato by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
- Aesthetics (Ethicon, Mentor)
- Arrhythmias (Biosense Webster)
- Bariatric Surgery for Obesity (Ethicon)
- Cardiovascular Disease (Biosense Webster, Inc.)
- Diabetes Care (LifeScan, Animas Corporation)
- Ear, Nose, and Throat Conditions (Acclarent)
- General Surgery (Ethicon, Codman Neuro)
- Hernia Surgery (Ethicon)
- Insulin Delivery Devices (Animas)
- Neurovascular Disease (Codman Neuro, DePuy Synthes)
- Orthopaedics (DePuy Synthes): Joint Reconstruction, Trauma, Spine, Sports Medicine and Power Tools
- Self-Measured Blood Glucose Monitors (LifeScan)
- Surgical Instruments and Infection Prevention(Advanced Sterilization Products)
- Urologic Surgery (Ethicon)
- Vision Care (VISTAKON®)
Johnson & Johnson has set several positive goals to keep the company environmentally friendly and was ranked third among the United States's largest companies in Newsweek's "Green Rankings". Some examples are the reduction in water use, waste, and energy use and an increased level of transparency. Johnson & Johnson agreed to change its packaging of plastic bottles used in the manufacturing process, switching their packaging of liquids to non-polyvinyl chloride containers. The corporation is working with the Climate Northwest Initiative and the EPA National Environmental Performance Track program. As a member of the national Green Power Partnership, Johnson & Johnson operates the largest solar power generator in Pennsylvania at its site in Spring House, Pennsylvania.
Recalls and litigation
1982 Chicago Tylenol murders
On September 29, 1982, a "Tylenol scare" began when the first of seven individuals died in Chicago metropolitan area, after ingesting Extra Strength Tylenol that had been deliberately laced with cyanide. Within a week, the company pulled 31 million bottles of capsules back from retailers, making it one of the first major recalls in American history. The incident led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws. The case remains unsolved and no suspects have been charged. Johnson & Johnson's quick response, including a nationwide recall, was widely praised by public relations experts and the media and was the gold standard for corporate crisis management.
2010 children's product recall
On April 30, 2010, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, voluntarily recalled 43 over-the-counter children's medicines, including Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. The recall was conducted after a routine inspection at a manufacturing facility in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, United States revealed that some "products may not fully meet the required manufacturing specifications". Affected products may contain a "higher concentration of active ingredients" or exhibit other manufacturing defects. Products shipped to Canada, Dominican Republic, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Fiji were included in the recall. In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said "a comprehensive quality assessment across its manufacturing operations" was underway. A dedicated website was established by the company listing affected products and other consumer information.
2010 hip-replacement recall
On August 24, 2010, DePuy, a subsidiary of American giant Johnson & Johnson, recalled its ASR (articular surface replacement) hip prostheses from the market. DePuy said the recall was due to unpublished National Joint Registry data showing a 12% revision rate for resurfacing at five years and an ASR XL revision rate of 13%. All hip prostheses fail in some patients, but it is expected that the rate will be about 1% a year. Pathologically, the failing prosthesis had several effects. Metal debris from wear of the implant led to a reaction that destroyed the soft tissues surrounding the joint, leaving some patients with long term disability. Ions of cobalt and chromium—the metals from which the implant was made—were also released into the blood and cerebral spinal fluid in some patients.
In March 2013, a jury in Los Angeles ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $8.3 million in damages to a Montana man in the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits pending against the company in connection with the now-recalled DePuy hip.
2010 Tylenol recall
In 2010 and 2011, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled some over-the-counter products, including Tylenol, due to an odor caused by tribromoanisole. In this case, 2,4,6-tribromophenol was used to treat wooden pallets on which product packaging materials were transported and stored.
In 2010 a group of shareholders sued the board for allegedly failing to take action to prevent serious failings and illegalities since the 1990s, including manufacturing problems, bribing officials, covering up adverse effects and misleading marketing for unapproved uses. The judge initially dismissed the case in September 2011, but allowed the plaintiffs opportunity to refile at a later time. In 2012 Johnson and Johnson proposed a settlement with the shareholders, whereby the company would institute new oversight, quality and compliance procedures binding for five years.
Illegal marketing of Risperdal
Juries in several US states have found J&J guilty of concealing the adverse effects of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' antipsychotic medication Risperdal, produced by its unit, in order to promote it to doctors and patients as better than cheaper generics, and of falsely marketing it for treating patients with dementia. States that have awarded damages include Texas ($158 million), South Carolina ($327 million), Louisiana ($258 million), and most notably Arkansas ($1.2 billion).
In 2010, the United States Department of Justice joined a whistleblowers suit accusing the company of illegally marketing Risperdal through Omnicare, the largest company supplying pharmaceuticals to nursing homes. The allegations include that J&J were warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to promote Risperdal as effective and safe for elderly patients, but they did so, and that they paid Omnicare to promote the drug to care home physicians. The settlement was finalized on November 4, 2013, with J&J agreeing to pay a penalty of around $2.2 billion, "including criminal fines and forfeiture totaling $485 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $1.72 billion".
Johnson & Johnson has also been subject to congressional investigations related to payments given to psychiatrists to promote its products and ghost write articles, notably Joseph Biederman and his pediatric bipolar disorder research unit.
In 2011, J&J settled litigation brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and paid around $70M in disgorgement and fines. J&J's employees had given kickbacks and bribes to doctors in Greece, Poland, and Romania to obtain business selling drugs and medical devices and had bribed officials in Iraq to win contracts under the Oil for Food program. J&J fully cooperated with the investigation once the problems came to light.
Consumer fraud settlements
Use of the Red Cross symbol
Johnson & Johnson registered the Red Cross as a U.S. trademark for "medicinal and surgical plasters" in 1905 and has used the design since 1887. The Geneva Conventions, which reserved the Red Cross emblem for specific uses, were first approved in 1864 and ratified by the United States in 1882. However, the emblem was not protected by U.S. law for the use of the American Red Cross and the U.S. military until after Johnson & Johnson had obtained its trademark. A clause in this law (now 18 U.S.C. 706) permits this pre-existing uses of the Red Cross to continue.
A declaration made by the U.S. upon its ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions includes a reservation that pre-1905 U.S. domestic uses of the Red Cross, such as Johnson & Johnson's, would remain lawful as long as the cross is not used on "aircraft, vessels, vehicles, buildings or other structures, or upon the ground," i.e., uses which could be confused with its military uses. This means that the U.S. did not agree to any interpretation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that would overrule Johnson & Johnson's trademark. The American Red Cross continues to recognize the validity of Johnson & Johnson's trademark.
In August 2007, Johnson & Johnson filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross (ARC), demanding that the charity halt the use of the red cross symbol on products it sells to the public, though the company takes no issue with the charity's use of the mark for non-profit purposes. In May 2008, the judge in the case dismissed most of Johnson & Johnson's claims, and a month later the two organizations announced a settlement had been reached in which both parties would continue to use the symbol.
Boston Scientific lawsuits
Since 2003, Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific have both claimed that the other had infringed on their patents covering heart stent medical devices. The litigation was settled when Boston Scientific agreed to pay $716 million to Johnson & Johnson in September 2009 and an additional $1.73 billion in February 2010. Their dispute was renewed in 2014, now on the grounds of a contract dispute.
Patent-infringement case against Abbott
In 2007, Johnson & Johnson sued Abbott Laboratories over the development and sale of the arthritis drug Humira. Johnson & Johnson claimed that Abbott used technology patented by New York University and licensed exclusively to Johnson & Johnson's Centocor division to develop Humira. Johnson & Johnson won the court case, and in 2009 Abbott was ordered to pay Johnson & Johnson $1.17 billion in lost revenues and $504 million in royalties. The judge also added $175.6 million in interest to bring the total to $1.84 billion. This was the largest patent-infringement award in U.S. history until the 2013 decision against Teva in favor of Takeda and Pfizer for over 2.1 billion dollars. In 2010 Abbott appealed the verdict and in 2011 won the appeal.
Vaginal mesh implants
Tens of thousands of women worldwide have taken legal action against Johnson & Johnson after suffering serious complications following a vaginal mesh implant procedure. In 2016 the U.S. states of California and Washington filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of deception. More than 700 women began a class action against the company in the Federal Court of Australia in 2017, telling the court they "suffered irreparable, debilitating pain after the devices began to erode into surrounding tissue and organs, causing infections and complications". The class action alleged that Johnson & Johnson, which "aggressively marketed" the implants "failed to properly warn patients and surgeons of the risk, or test the devices adequately". Emails between executives show the company was aware of the risks in 2005 but still went ahead and made the product available.
In October 2019, the company and its subsidiary, Ethicon, Inc. reached a settlement with 41 states and the District of Columbia, with no admission of liability, in a suit alleging deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical-mesh devices. The suit also alleges that the company failed to disclose risks associated with the product, which J&J pulled from the market in 2012. The amount settled in the suit was about US $117 million.
In August 2017, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. J&J said they will appeal the verdict.
In October 2017, the Missouri Eastern District appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $72 million jury verdict. The appeals court ruled 3-0 that Jacqueline Fox's lawsuit lacked jurisdiction in Missouri because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that imposed limits on where injury lawsuit can be filed which ". . . establishing a lawsuit's jurisdiction requires a stronger connection between the forum state and a plaintiff's claims." Subsequently, this ruling would kill three other recent St. Louis jury verdicts of more than $200 million combined. Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Ala., died in 2015, about four months before her trial was held in St. Louis Circuit Court. She was among 65 plaintiffs, of whom only two were from Missouri.
In July 2018, a St. Louis jury awarded nearly US$4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. In 2019, the company's CEO, Alex Gorsky, declined to appear at a United States congressional hearing on the safety of the Johnson's and Johnson's Baby Powder and other talc-based cosmetics. J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz said that the subcommittee had rejected the company's offers to send a talc testing expert or a J&J executive in charge of consumer products.
In December 2018, with 11,700 people suing Johnson & Johnson over cancers allegedly caused by baby powder, the company was forced to release internal documents. The documents showed that the company had known about asbestos contamination since at least as early as 1971 and had spent decades finding ways to conceal the evidence from the public. On December 19, the company lost its request to reverse a jury verdict that ruled in favor of the accusers, which required the company to pay $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages. Though asbestos is a known carcinogen, the potential link between asbestos-free talc and cancer also alleged in these lawsuits is a subject of scientific controversy, as discussed on the Neurologica blog by Steven Novella. A large study performed in 2003 found that ovarian cancer risk increased from a baseline of 0.0121% to 0.0161% in people who reported regularly using talc in the genital area. Two more studies over the next twelve years, which also relied on self-reporting, had similar results. However, none of the three studies showed a relationship between how long someone used talc and how much their cancer risk increased, which is expected in experiments with carcinogens and other toxic substances (see dose-response relationship).
By 2018, the company had become embroiled in the opioid epidemic in the United States and had become a target of lawsuits. Over 500 opioid-related cases have been filed as of May 2018 against Johnson & Johnson and its competitors. In Idaho, Johnson & Johnson is part of a lawsuit accusing the company for being partially to blame for opioid-related overdose deaths. The first major trial began in Oklahoma in May 2019. On August 26, 2019, the Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for their part in the opioid crisis.
Northeastern Ohio Settlement
In October 2019, the company agreed to a settlement of US $20.4 million with two Ohio counties – Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Summit (Akron). The settlement allows the company avoidance of a trial accusing J&J and many other pharmaceutical manufacturers of helping to spark the US Opioid Epidemic. The trial, scheduled for October 2019, was thought to be an indicator for thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against many drug manufacturers. The arrangement, which contains no admission of liability by the company, provides the counties US $10 million in cash, $5 million for legal expenses and $5.4 million in contributions to opioid-related non-profit organizations in the counties.
- "Johnson & Johnson 2017 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. January 2018.
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