May 27th, 2010

Colleen A. Goggins on the Recent McNeil Consumer Healthcare Recall

Today Colleen Goggins, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group, Johnson & Johnson, is appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to discuss the recent McNeil recall of certain infants’ and children’s products. Here are some excerpts from her testimony:

All of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies realize that we have a responsibility to provide consumers with the highest quality products possible, and we have worked hard to fulfill that responsibility for more than a century. We are proud that our products help millions of people around the world improve their health and well-being. Across our organization, we believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses, and patients, to mothers and fathers, and all others who use our products and services. In this instance, we have not lived up to that responsibility, and the recall is therefore a disappointment to our Chairman Bill Weldon, to me personally, and to the thousands of employees in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

The quality and process issues that we found at McNeil, those which led to the recall and others, are unacceptable. On behalf of McNeil and Johnson & Johnson, I apologize to the mothers, fathers, and caregivers for the concern and inconvenience caused by the recall. Johnson & Johnson embraces the work of this Committee, and we hope that today’s hearing will be an important step in furthering public understanding of the recall.

Consistent with our goal of furthering public understanding, it is critical that the public understand that the recall was not undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. Unfortunately, there has been some confusion in the media with respect to this recall. I would like to stress, therefore, four key points. First, as the FDA noted last month, the health risks to consumers from the recalled products were remote. Second, McNeil has no indication of a serious adverse medical event caused by any of the issues referenced in the recall announcement. Third, no raw materials that tested positive for objectionable bacteria were ever used in the manufacture of McNeil’s pediatric products. And finally, McNeil rejected the products that it found had excess active ingredient.

For further details, click here to read the full testimony.


17 Responses to “Colleen A. Goggins on the Recent McNeil Consumer Healthcare Recall”

  1. Ana says

    You are the worst people on earth!! We are trusting our children to you! Sorry it is not enough!! I will never buy one of your products ever again!! and I hope everyone does the same and start trying natural remedies.
    Hope the worst for you and your company!!

  2. Pharm Aid says

    Naturally, we are all quite interested in hearing the “by the way” take on why J&J engaged independent contractors to buy Motrin off the shelves in 2008 (and instructed those contractors to lie about what they were doing), why the company did not notify the FDA of manufacturing defects and why the company finally issued the recall nearly 8 months later (July 2009).

    If Johnson & Johnson wants to earn back America’s trust, it needs to start with integrity and honesty. Ms. Goggins legal spin and Mr. Weldon’s unwillingness to reschedule his elective surgery and testify may play well for the company in downstream litigation, but it is not doing anything for the company’s credibility.

  3. howard says

    When I worked in the company we had a mantra, Conformance Beyond Compliance.

    It looks like management was asleep at the switch which causes me great disappointment
    and sadness.

    There certainly needs to be a restatement of the CREDO, something we all had in our offices and almost worshiped. I can’t be reading what I see in the press, the General would be rotating in his grave and then take out his cane and push all of you off the throne.

  4. Mike says

    For years I’ve been happy to buy your products and hold the common shares, but lately JNJ has been in the news for the wrong reasons. I hope this controversy is quickly resolved and faith restored in your iconic brand. I would rather see slight pressure in the stock price resulting from higher operating expenses for quality control rather than the harsher downward pressure resulting from negative press because of bad business practices.

  5. Jeff says

    I agree with Howard as I believe I know who he is and also worked at McNeil in the early 90’s. Quality was everything then (GMPs, every employee fully engaged in the quality process, consumers come before shareholders and knowing that consumer trust in the company and brands we offered was everything. JNJ learned this first hand with the cyanide scare in the 80’s and became a case study on how to handle such a crisis. I find it hard to believe that things have deteriorated to such an extent that I’m hearing about duct tape on equipment, dirt on the line, failed raw materials that make their way into finished products, insufficient QA lab resources and the suggestion from a contractor to “buy up nonconforming product from stores vs. doing a batch recall on what they knew was bad stuff in the market”.

    Howard, I hope your golf game has improved and you’re enjoying life in Tx or wherever you call home these days.

  6. Roger says

    Contracting individuals to purchase product from retail outlets, by pretending to be consumers, so the company can see whether or not the products were tainted without issuing another recall…sad, very sad. The people who made the decision to do that must have had their copies of the Credo face down on their desks that morning.

    For the first time, I feel ashamed of the Company I was so proud to work for, for 36 years.

  7. Sue says

    I too am a former employee and very ashamed to see what has happened to a fine company – how the mighty fall. I lived/worked through the Tylenol crisis and was never prouder to work for J&J. In the last years I was there, I feared that if something like that ever happened again, it would not be handled with thehonesty, grace and dignity of the crisis. Shame on all of you who let greed get in the way of good decisions, this includes reducing work forces, again for the almighty dollar vs. standing behind employees during difficult economic times, the same way employees stand behind the company during difficult business times, such as the crisis. I am sorry for those I still call friends who work there, but am glad I am not there any longer.

  8. Russ Powderly says

    Regarding the McNeil recall and the reportage of the scandalous conditions at the Plant, it is all very well for Colleen Goggins to apologise to the mothers, fathers and caregivers for the inconvenience caused by the recall, but what about the stockholders who have purchased shares in the Company based on its reputation.
    As a now retired 39 years service employee, I sense that the current senior management have collectively dropped the ball representing the iconic Credo.
    I agree with previous correspondents that “the General” would be turning in his grave. Shame on the current Executive Comittee!
    Lift your game, and the Stock price, or move aside and let others restore the J&J integrity and reputation..

  9. Jane Doe says

    My question is what is going to happen to those in management, within the Ft. Washington building who were the direct cause for some of these non-conformances? For example, the supervisor who was using the employees from Lancaster, who were only supposed to work in Chem-way, and she had them working in other areas. When Ft. Washington employees informed her that she could not do that, she replied that she was in charge of that shift, and she can put her people where ever she wanted. Her attitude alone is enough for dismissal, plus if she really did not know what her limitations were, her lack of knowledge of what she can or cannot do means she never was trained properly. But those who know her, and know of the situation first handed, think she knew the rules and just chose to ignore them. People like her do not deserve to be employed by your company.

  10. Marilyn says

    As a retiree of Johnson & Johnson, I am appalled at the scandalous behavior of the entire board, including the CEO, president of McNeil, and various VP’s of quality control and request that they all resign, without golden parachutes. Shame on you all. My generation worked for decades to leave a well-run company and one that set the gold standard for corporate responsibility to the next generation, and obviously, you have failed us all.

  11. Zoe says

    You are the worst people on earth!! We are trusting our children to you! Sorry it is not enough!! I will never buy one of your products ever again!! and I hope everyone does the same and start trying natural remedies.
    Hope the worst for you and your company!!

  12. MJ says

    As a long time pharma supporter, it is the stories like these that make me wonder why these organizations aren’t “getting it”. Particularly in J&J’s case. The very essence of the organization has equated to trust. The Credo that is the navigational compass for every employee in the organization appears to have been blatantly disregarded and to a larger extent disrespected. What has happened to the leadership at this organization? Talk about being on opposite ends of a Harvard Business Review case study – they are the gold standard for crisis management with the Tylenol issue and will now be the poster child for a lack of corporate integrity in this latest debacle. Public trust is hard to earn once, let alone twice…

  13. suanette says


    I got a question. what are the initiatives of J & J are making right now to keep a good image during this crisis.

  14. Marc says

    Thanks for your comment. Our focus is to build back our brands by producing the reliable, high quality products that consumers expect of us and we expect of ourselves. We will invest the necessary resources and make whatever changes are needed to do so, and we will take the time to do it right.

Leave a Reply

All comments will be reviewed before posting. Since this blog is about Johnson & Johnson, comments that don’t directly relate to the Company or to topics covered on this blog won’t be posted. Please see our comments policy for details.