May 5th, 2016

Moms and Dads Speak Out: “What I Wish Were True for Every Child Everywhere”

By J. Bianchi

Moms + Social Good

Photo Credit: Nothing But Nets

Each day, over 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. And every two minutes, a child dies from malaria.

Not only are these statistics tragic and staggering but they’re also incredibly frustrating because many of the basic needs that can improve the health of mothers and children—things like medications and vaccinations—are out of reach for many of them.

That’s why, on May 5, hundreds of experts and advocates for the health and wellbeing of women and children are joining forces to prove that small actions can lead to big changes at the fourth annual Moms+Social Good gathering, an event created by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with Johnson & Johnson.

The goal: draw attention to some of the greatest challenges facing women and children around the world, and help inspire parents to take action by connecting them to leading experts—and each other.

“We look forward to a world where every girl has a chance to receive an adequate education, where every mother has the medical support necessary to minimize the complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and where children across the globe have access to the healthcare needed for a long and happy life,” says Debra Bass, President of the Global Baby Franchise at Johnson & Johnson and a speaker at the Moms+Social Good event.

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May 2nd, 2016

4 Important Facts About the Safety of Talc

Johnsons_baby_powderJOHNSON’S® Baby Powder, made from cosmetic talc, has been a staple of baby care rituals and adult skin care and makeup routines worldwide for over a century.

The most common cosmetic applications for talc are face, body and baby powders, but it’s also used as an ingredient in color cosmetics, soap, toothpaste, antiperspirant, chewing gum and drug tablets.

Following decades of studies conducted by medical experts across the globe, it has been demonstrated through science, research and clinical evidence that few ingredients have the same performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc.

Talc, also known as talcum powder, is a naturally occurring mineral that is highly stable, chemically inert and odorless. The grade of talc used in cosmetics is of high purity—comparable to that used for pharmaceutical applications—and it’s only mined from select deposits in certified locations before being milled into relatively large, non-respirable-sized particles.

Today, talc is accepted as safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products by the European Union, Canada and many other countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

To help further highlight the safety profile of cosmetic talc, here are four key scientific and clinical facts about the mineral:

Fact #1: Since the 1970s, talc used in consumer products has been required to be asbestos-free, so JOHNSON’s talc products do not contain asbestos, a substance classified as cancer-causing.

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May 2nd, 2016

A Message About Talc

JOHNSON’S<sup>®</sup> Baby Powder30 years of studies by medical experts around the world, science, research and clinical evidence continues to support the safety of cosmetic talc. We first offered JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder as a product choice more than 100 years ago because we were confident in the safety of talc. And today, we continue to manufacture and sell JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder with talc because we remain completely confident in its safety. We remain committed to safety and innovation, and will continue to work hard to exceed consumer expectations and evolving product preferences. This commitment to innovation led to the introduction of JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder made with cornstarch as an additional option for consumers nearly forty years ago.

Everyone at Johnson & Johnson sympathizes deeply with the women and families who have been affected by ovarian cancer, a devastating disease with no known cause. We know the women and families affected are searching for answers and want to understand the science.

Safety

When concerns about an association between talc and ovarian cancer were first raised in the early 1980s, Johnson and Johnson took them very seriously and did the things you expect from a company you trust including:

  • Testing to ensure that the talc in JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder meets the highest Quality standards (US Pharmacopeia),
  • Engaging with the FDA, regulatory agencies, and governments around the world
  • Monitoring studies and all available information examining the safety of talc
  • Talking with independent consultants from outside our company about their point of view on the safety of talc.

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May 2nd, 2016

It Takes a Village: How One Community Is Raising a Generation of Ebola Orphans

By Olatunde Branche, Ph.D., Associate Director, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Olatunde Branche

Branche with the precocious Marie

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has subsided, but there is still much work to be done in the aftermath of the crisis—both on the healthcare and the humanitarian front.

Although another Ebola outbreak is highly likely, we remain committed to our work on a prime-boost vaccine that has the potential to help prevent another epidemic.

On the humanitarian front, the recent outbreak left communities and families devastated and in need of support—which is how I came to know Marie.

She is 4 years old, and I will never forget her.

A Life-Affirming Homecoming

I left Sierra Leone almost 40 years ago. For the past 25 years, I have been working as a clinical researcher, and these days, I travel to the country as a trial manager for the Ebola vaccine clinical trial. Since 2014, I have also been privileged to be part of the Johnson & Johnson Africa Contributions Committee, enabling me to experience firsthand the impact of the life-changing work done by our partners in communities all across Africa.

It was on one of these trips to Sierra Leone that I met Marie.

She was only 7 months old when she lost both of her parents to Ebola.

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April 29th, 2016

The Chewable Pill That Could Help Save Millions of Children Worldwide

By William Lin, Director, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Johnson & Johnson Global Public HealthMebendazole News

Mebendazole News

A new, chewable version of mebendazole makes it easier to treat intestinal worm infections in children.
PHOTO CREDIT: Shutterstock

Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), otherwise known as an intestinal worm infection, affects around two billion people worldwide—that’s over a quarter of the global population.

I have seen firsthand how this neglected tropical disease impacts the most underserved and vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries with limited clean water or sanitation.

STH afflicts both adults and children. However, kids are more greatly affected because infections during the formative developmental periods of their lives can lead to malnutrition, anemia, stunted growth, and even death. More than 800 million children live in endemic areas in need of treatment and preventive interventions.

As part of our ongoing commitment to global public health, Janssen Pharmaceuticals—one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson—has submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of a chewable formulation of mebendazole, which is a single dose treatment for adults and children over the age of one who have STH.

What Makes This New Treatment So Unique

When mixed with a few drops of water, the chewable mebendazole tablet forms a soft mass, making it easier to treat STH in children too young to swallow a solid tablet.

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April 27th, 2016

What We Can All Learn From Intentional Serendipity

By Michael Bzdak, Executive Director, Corporate Contributions

Switchpoint Ideas

Photo Credit: SwitchPoint

*This post originally appeared on intrahealth.org.

IntraHealth International is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to improving health care in developing countries through strengthening health workers and the systems that support them. IntraHealth primarily addresses health workforce and systems strengthening; family planning and reproductive health; HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; maternal, newborn, and child health; and malaria. IntraHealth hosts an annual conference, SwitchPoint, which focuses on great ideas, tools, and people making a real difference in the world in areas such as humanitarian innovation, global health, and technology.

On my way home from SwitchPoint 2016, I reflected on intentional serendipity—an overarching theme that emerged from an event where hundreds of passionate humanitarians came to connect. This idea has bubbled up over the past few years in TED Talks and scholarly journals, and intentional serendipity took center stage at IntraHealth International’s 5th annual SwitchPoint.

On my way to the conference on Wednesday, I was preparing for my role as co-facilitator of the Innovators Forum, a pre-conference event where all of the speakers gathered to get to know each other and to prepare for the rich experience to come on Thursday and Friday.

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April 27th, 2016

Dengue: A Global Public Health Threat That Deserves Attention

By Dr. Marnix Van Loock, Dengue Team Leader, Global Public Health

Aedes aegypti mosquito

The dengue virus is transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declaring the Zika virus a “public health emergency of international concern,” the risk of vector-borne diseases, which are transmitted by insects like mosquitoes, has been catapulted into the global spotlight.

So not surprisingly, the topic was high on the agenda when I joined a group of experts at the International Society of Neglected Tropical Diseases’ annual conference, ISNTD Bites, last month.

Along with sharing the latest research, disease modelling and surveillance technologies, our task was to find ways to promote even greater collaboration between the many parties involved in the control of vector-borne diseases. With many of these diseases—like Zika—emerging rapidly, it’s a huge and on-going challenge.

Facts About the Dengue Virus
I was at the conference to talk about our dengue program, an important part of our commitment to Global Public Health within the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.

Much like Zika, dengue is a vector-borne disease that has not been widely known. It’s also a virus that infects nearly 400 million people each year, causing such symptoms as a fever, rash and muscle and joint pain.

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April 26th, 2016

HealtheVoices: How a Conference Is Helping to Empower Health Advocates Across the Country

By Molly Triffin

HealtheVoices16

Attendees at this year’s HealtheVoices conference in Chicago

In the spring of 2014, Rebecca Tillet, regional pharmaceuticals communication and public affairs leader for the Janssen North America team, hit upon a novel idea: With social media playing such an influential role in how people make healthcare decisions today, why not have the company host a convention for online health advocates and patient bloggers who chronicle their experiences of living with challenging health conditions?

Through her work in the consumer sector, Tillet had become familiar with BlogHer, a robust community for women bloggers who routinely gather at conferences and tradeshows—and she was surprised to learn that there wasn’t a similar network for online patient health activists.

“It didn’t seem right that there was such a strong support system for women writing about fashion and cooking, but nothing existed for people who were blogging about life-altering diseases,” Tillet recalls. “They were completely on their own.”

And she understood well the growing significance of social media advocates. “For years, our team had been partnering with bloggers to gain insight into how to do a better job of helping patients,” Tillet says, adding that online patient health advocates are often a trusted source of information.

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April 21st, 2016

How the Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity Can Get America Moving Again

By Jack L. Groppel, Ph.D., Co-Founder Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute

National Physical Activity Plan

Groppel (far right) at the launch of the Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity

Yesterday was a truly exciting day on Capitol Hill—the Congressional Fitness Caucus, co-chaired by Congressmen Ron Kind and Robert Dold, have signed the Congressional Commitment to Physical Activity in support of the National Physical Activity Plan.

By signing this document, members of congress are committing to making physical activity a priority for themselves, along with their offices, communities and districts.

For reasons that aren’t hard to guess—from the rise of technology to an abundance of office jobs—people just aren’t getting up and moving as much as they used to. And believe it or not, most people know the benefits of physical activity, such as promoting bone and muscular health and preventing heart disease and diabetes.

So why aren’t Americans getting up and moving more?

That was the question I asked fellow members of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) just over five years ago. And what we quickly realized is that if we can start a movement based on promoting the physical and mental benefits of physical activity, we just might be able to get America moving again.

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April 19th, 2016

An Important Milestone in the Search for an Ebola Vaccine

By Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Ebola Vaccine
It seems there is always a new story in the media about an emerging health threat. Right now, understandably, there is significant public concern about the spread of the Zika virus.

But just over a year ago, it was the Ebola virus and its devastating impact in West Africa that dominated the headlines.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa may have subsided, but not after leaving a huge human cost—over 11,300 lives were lost, tragically, in the outbreak. Far too many families and communities in the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia were devastated.

Today, flare-ups of Ebola continue in the region because the virus can persist in the bodily fluids of survivors. And experts predict that another Ebola outbreak—somewhere in the world—is highly likely. So we can’t afford to move on from Ebola until we develop the tools to defeat it.

That’s why Johnson & Johnson entered into global private-public partnerships with some of the world’s leading health and research organizations to advance an Ebola vaccine regimen in development at our Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.

The vaccine regimen uses a “prime-boost” regimen, in which one vaccine dose is given to prime the immune system, and then a second vaccine is administered with the goal of boosting the immune response.

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