July 1st, 2010

Collaboration is Key to Maternal and Newborn Health

From Paul Stoffels, Global Head, Pharmaceuticals Research & Development

Last week I was privileged to represent Johnson & Johnson at the Pacific Health Summit (PHS) – an annual gathering that convenes nearly 250 leaders in science, policy and industry to focus on issues of critical importance to global health. It is a unique event that connects decision makers to spark solutions in the quest for a healthier world.

This year’s theme was Maternal and Newborn Health. The idea is that caring for mothers and providing opportunities for better prenatal, newborn and childhood care can lead to a healthier, more productive world.

For many of us in the developed world, access to maternal and child care is a given. But for many mothers and children around the world, that’s not the case. According to a recent report, globally, 8.8 million children a year die before their fifth birthday, more than 40 percent of them during their first four weeks of life. At least two-thirds of all child deaths are preventable.

No theme could be more aligned with the work and values of Johnson & Johnson. Women and children have been at the heart of our core business for nearly 125 years.

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June 25th, 2010

Richard B. Sellars

Earlier today, we learned that Richard B. Sellars, who was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer between 1973 and 1976, passed away this week at age 94. My colleague, Margaret Gurowowitz, uploaded an extensive post on Mr. Sellars over on her blog, Kilmer House, that I thought I would share in its entirity here. From Margaret:

Kilmer House salutes Richard B. Sellars, retired Johnson & Johnson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (he served from 1973-1976), who passed away this week at age 94. Though only chairman for three years, Mr. Sellars had a 40-year career with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and he had an impact that continues to be felt today. Two of the things we owe to him are successfully steering Johnson & Johnson through the tough economic times of the early 1970s, and committing the Company to stay in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where it was founded in 1886.

Richard Sellars joined Johnson & Johnson 71 years ago, at the tail end of the Great Depression in 1939, as a junior salesman for the newly formed Ortho Pharmaceutical Division and 40 years later, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. From 1941 to 1945, Sellars was president and general manager of the Canadian Ortho affiliate company, after which he helped establish the manufacturing and sales divisions for Ortho in England and Scandinavia.

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June 25th, 2010

The People’s Lifeline: Midwives in the Philippines

From Katsura Tsuno, Director Corporate Contributions, Asia-Pacific, Johnson & Johnson

I still remember the sights and sounds that filled the maternity hospital in Manila when I visited in 2005. It was my first trip to the Philippines after taking a position in Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson. Although the public hospital had been described as the largest for mothers and babies, to me, it looked more like an old train station. There was an emergency room inside with simple bedding, and a separate family waiting room with a ceiling, yet no walls – providing no refuge from the hot and humid weather. As I approached the delivery room, I noticed two pregnant women sprawled out on one bed. Newborn babies were the same – two babies shared each basket.  

When I finally reached the hospital room, I saw an overwhelming number of mothers and babies. Three to four pairs of mothers and babies lay horizontally on two beds connected to each other, also known as a tandem bed. As I surveyed the room, I could see that there were obviously not enough doctors and nurses. “The average income of a doctor working in the public sector is not better than the salary of a call center operator,” one doctor revealed. The crowded and under-funded hospital was daunting to me, yet the women with access to it were considered fortunate.

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June 24th, 2010

Social Moms: One size does not fit all

Dina Freeman , Social Media and Communications Consultant , BabyCenter

When my son was 18 months old, he decided it would be fun to jump out of his crib head first one night at around 3 am. He was totally fine, but I wasn’t. I was freaked out and needed advice. I immediately reached for my phone and instead of calling my mom like I would have done 5 years ago, I tweeted “Ugh. 18mo just fell out of crib. Not ready for big boy bed. Help!”  Within minutes I received about 20 suggestions, one of which worked like a charm. Crisis averted.

To many of you, solving personal problems using something as public as Twitter sounds ridiculous. For others, crowdsourcing answers from strangers is on par with calling a friend. Although there has been a massive increase in the number of moms using social media since 2006 (591%), it would be wrong to assume all moms use social media in the same way or that they all wield the same amount of influence.

Last week, we released our “BabyCenter 2010 Mom Social Influencer Report” based on a recent study we did of moms in the BabyCenter Community.

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June 15th, 2010

The Importance of Improving Health Literacy

From Scott C. Ratzan, MD, MPA, Vice President, Global Health, Government Affairs & Policy, Johnson & Johnson

Years of working to improve worldwide public health has taught me that giving people access to care and medicines are only part of improving health. Almost as important is what people do once they have access. Can they find the care that they need in a sometimes complex health care system? Do they understand the instructions their doctor or nurse has given them? Do they have the basic tools to improve or change their behavior? 

The way people interact with the health system has great impact on whether they can improve their health. And improving people’s understanding of health information is an important first step. “Health literacy,” as this skill is called, is the degree to which people have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make good health decisions. 

Limited health literacy affects people of all ages, races, incomes, and education levels, but its greatest impact is among lower socioeconomic and minority groups, where it underlies health disparities. Limited health literacy is also linked to worse health outcomes and higher costs. 

Two decades of research shows that today’s health information is presented in a way that isn’t usable by most Americans.

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June 3rd, 2010

Tweets About Today’s Analyst Meeting on the MD&D Segment

Earlier today, senior leaders from our Medical Devices & Diagnostics segment (which, BTW, is the the company’s largest business segment) held a meeting with the investment community to highlight the new products, pipelines, geographic presence and other strategies that will sustain the long-term growth of this business. You can listen to a replay of the webcast on our website, but below are a few of the tweets I put out earlier today:

J&J holds analyst meeting highlighting growth strategies for its Medical Devices and Diagnostics (MD&D) segment http://bit.ly/cdY11k

Webcast of presentations for J&J MD&D analyst meeting on J&J website http://bit.ly/gNVaT

MD&D day will highlight new products, including blood glucose monitoring/hernia repair systems, disposable contacts http://bit.ly/agrGrp

Gorsky, WW Chair, MD&D segment: can grow in underpenetrated mrkts thru intro of more advanced products/organic growth http://bit.ly/agrGrp

MD&D received more than 12 reg approvals so far in ’10, plans to make about 80 significant submissions between ’10-’12 http://bit.ly/agrGrp

MD&D segment continues to globalize current portfolios by developing more localized products for different markets http://bit.ly/agrGrp

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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.

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May 25th, 2010

McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Plans to Assess and Address Quality Issues

To help inform employees of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, McNeil Consumer Healthcare today released a description of its plans to assess and address quality issues which precipitated the recent recall of certain McNeil infants’ and children’s liquid medicines and the suspension of production at the Fort Washington PA manufacturing facility on April 30. Last Friday, McNeil submitted materials to the U. S. Food & Drug Administration which outlined its actions and plans to help ensure quality moving forward, and address the FDA’s observations at the plant. And this Thursday, Colleen Goggins, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group will represent Johnson & Johnson before the U. S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has called a hearing on the recall. The following is the description of McNeil’s plans:

McNeil is taking steps to bring its operation back to a level of quality that Johnson & Johnson demands of its companies, and that the public rightly expects of us, and that we expect of ourselves.

First, even before the most recent recall was announced, McNeil retained an independent third-party expert to assist the Fort Washington facility in identifying immediate, interim, and long-term corrective actions that it needs to take.

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May 19th, 2010

Update on the U.S. House Committee Hearing on the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Recall

Last week, Johnson & Johnson was advised that the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was planning to hold a hearing on May 27th on the recent McNeil Consumer Healthcare recall, at which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon was invited to provide testimony. There have been some questions from the media about the company’s plans for the hearing, and I thought I’d pass on the statement we’ve been sharing with reporters:

We are working very closely with the Committee and the FDA on these important issues related to the recent recall of certain McNeil over-the-counter medicines. We look forward to addressing the Committee’s questions and concerns. As the FDA has stated, the risk of a serious medical event is remote. The recall was not undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. McNeil and Johnson & Johnson remain committed to placing consumer safety first and have committed to a number of already-announced actions to begin remediation.

Prior to receiving the Committee’s invitation, Mr. Weldon was scheduled for back surgery today, from which he is currently recovering. Johnson & Johnson promptly informed the Committee upon receiving its request that Mr. Weldon would not be able to testify while he recovers from surgery.

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May 17th, 2010

New Way RA Season 2 Premieres Today

From Megan Farina, Manager, Corporate Communications, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

With the launch of New Way RATM last year, our hope was to offer support to people living with RA, as well as their caregivers. Over the past ten months, we’ve continued to learn from the RA social community through their posts as well as direct conversations with authors of blogs such as RA Warrior, All Flared Up, and Arthritis is a Journey. Listening to their insights helped us understand the deeper impact of contending with unpredictable and untimely flares of stiff, swollen and painful joints – we learned that participating in everyday activities with family & friends and maintaining relationships can quickly become overwhelming.

Because of their insights and honest feedback, New Way RATM has evolved from one pilot episode to a second season of episodes that will run year-long.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the premiere of Season 2 with a new mix of experts having candid discussions about personal style, dating, intimacy and the myths of RA. We’ve also expanded the format to include two panelists living with RA – author and RA advocate Amye Leong, and Sara Nash, the blogger behind the Single Gal’s Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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