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August 20th, 2012

August, the Month to Raise Awareness about Psoriasis!

From Craig Stoltz, Director, Product Communication, Immunology, Janssen Biotech, Inc.

August in Pennsylvania, where I’m based, is usually a time of year when you can go to the local pool for a dip, crank up the air conditioning to chill indoors, spend quality time with friends and family, or find some other way to just simply relax.  You may even decide to take a vacation, escaping the hustle and bustle of work to enjoy a new adventure that doesn’t require conference calls, meetings and deadlines. One thing you may not have thought to do this month is to help raise awareness of an often misunderstood disease.  One that prevents many of the people living with it from doing the activities mentioned above due to scaly plaques on their skin.

With the exception of December, August has the fewest National Health Observances, which may be a result of the nature of the month. With that as background, we want to point out that August is Psoriasis Awareness Month.  At Janssen Biotech, we are honored to do our part to raise awareness of this condition that can place a heavy physical and emotional toll on millions of Americans.  In doing so, we  fondly recall the inspiring people touched by this condition who we’ve met through the years as part of our educational initiatives and participation at National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Walks to Cure Psoriasis.  I encourage you to take a moment – wherever you may be this month – to learn and educate others about psoriasis, which is the most prevalent autoimmune condition in the United States.

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August 15th, 2012

Our Safety and Care Commitment

 

From Susan Nettesheim, Vice President, Product Stewardship and Toxicology

Today we launched a new website, SafetyandCareCommitment.com, that lets people know all we do to be sure that the baby and beauty care products they use are as safe as can be. As head of Product Stewardship and Toxicology here at Johnson & Johnson’s Family of Consumer Companies, I know all the measures we take… we just didn’t have a forum to tell the rest of the world about it. Now we do.

Over the past few years, some interest groups have raised questions about the ingredients in personal care products used widely around the world, and they’ve put particular focus on our baby products. At first we were disappointed, because we know that all our products are safe by scientific standards and meet or exceed government regulations. Over time, though, we’ve come to realize that sometimes safety alone isn’t enough. There’s a vigorous public discussion going on around the world about what ingredients should or shouldn’t be in personal care products, and how they should be regulated. We have a point of view that we’ve expressed, based on our considered understanding of the science involved, and that’s always going to be our starting point.

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August 14th, 2012

Seeing the Differences We Make In Our Communities

 

From Berkley Pollard, Director, Clinical Quality Assurance, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

 

Attendees at the National urban League Conference having their vision checked at the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. vision care station.

Recently, I attended the National Urban League conference (NUL) in New Orleans to help with a program sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., which offered free vision evaluations to the neighboring communities.

The NUL conference is a national forum that helps create solutions to the challenges confronting African Americans and urban communities. Glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are the leading causes of blindness in African Americans.

This is the third year we’ve sponsored free evaluations and, for me, by far the most rewarding. At last year’s conference, it took us three days to convince a woman who was working at a nearby booth to get her eyes evaluated. She was convinced that she did not need a vision evaluation because she had 20/20 vision. After we explained to her that it was a quick process and wouldn’t cost her anything, she agreed.  The evaluation confirmed that she had 20/20 vision, but it also showed that she was at risk of having a detached retina.

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August 9th, 2012

BlogHer 2012: Social media for social good

 

We’re back from BlogHer 2012 in New York City, and what an amazing experience we had!

Our theme this year focused on social media for social good – specifically the challenges and joys of global motherhood.  Our community partners  Save the Children, Safe Kids, Helping Babies Breathe and Text4baby were there with us to highlight the incredible work they’re doing around the world, as were some of our colleagues from our consumer brands such as JOHNSON’S® and BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages.  Our partners also spoke during our Saturday morning session on the state of global motherhood, which was moderated by Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson.  Sharon leads our global contributions group, and she shared the stage with Carolyn Miles from Save the Children, Dr. Sara Berkelhamer from Northwestern Hospital, Dr. Nawando Olayiwola from Community Health Center, and Lisa Belkin, blogger and Huffington Post columnist.

The Johnson & Johnson booth at BlogHer 2012

One thing that immediately strikes you when you’re immersed in the excitement of a BlogHer conference is this:  blogging is empowerment.  I heard and felt that over and over from the remarkable women I met there who are sharing their stories, their experiences, interests, talents and points of view.   Part of being empowered is connecting with others, and it was wonderful to meet so many people who care so passionately about what they’re doing….whether it’s mom bloggers (and dad bloggers!), or caregivers, or fashionistas, or people who blog about family history, or couponing, or travel, or managing a disease or condition, or their daily lives.  Earlier generations of employees at Johnson & Johnson had these kinds of conversations with people in the community, and Kilmer House, our history blog, has some perspective on how we connected back then and how we’re connecting now through social media.

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August 2nd, 2012

Johnson & Johnson at BlogHer 2012 – Come and See Us There!

BlogHer 2012 starts this Thursday in New York, and Johnson & Johnson will be there this year again as a sponsor.   For anyone who’s not familiar with BlogHer, it’s the world’s largest conference for women in social media.  It’s a great way to meet new people, connect with the bloggers we already know, and get the word out about the amazing things our community partners are doing to improve health for mothers and children around the world.

Women have been important to Johnson & Johnson since our founding in 1886, when half of our first 14 employees were women.  Since then, conversations with women – both as consumers and as inspiration for new products  — have led to some of our best-known heritage consumer brands.  We’re continuing those conversations today through social media:  through our blogs, this blog and Kilmer House, through our Twitter handles, @JNJComm, @JNJStories, @JNJVideo and @JNJHistory, through our Facebook Network and our Health Channel on YouTube.  We’re also looking forward to having some of those conversations in person over the next few days.  So for everyone who will be attending BlogHer 2012, come and meet us at the Johnson & Johnson booth in the Mercury Rotunda.  Here are some of the folks who will be there, both speaking during a session and at our booth:

Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, who leads our global contributions group at Johnson & Johnson, will be speaking at one of the sessions, and members of her team will be at our booth.  You can follow Sharon on Twitter at @SharonDAGostino.   (She’s also on LinkedIn and Google+)  Don’t miss Sharon and several  special guests –Carolyn Miles (@carolynsave);  Dr.

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July 22nd, 2012

Fighting HIV/AIDS, Part of Our Commitment to Caring

 

From Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group, Johnson & Johnson

The fight against HIV has been part of my life’s work and one of my greatest passions. I first met this enemy as a young physician in training in Africa in the early 1980s. Today, as Worldwide Chairman of the Pharmaceuticals Group of Johnson & Johnson, I am privileged to be part of a company whose purpose is caring for people.

This purpose inspires me and other employees of Johnson & Johnson as we try every day to create new solutions for patients.  And, it’s what has guided our approach to fighting the devastating global epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

As we prepare for this week’s AIDS 2012 Conference, I thought about how our commitment to the doctors, nurses, patients, communities and our employees affected by HIV is the focus of everything we do. Our commitment to them is what guides our extensive research and development of medicines to treat AIDS; combat resistance; simplify treatment; discover, develop, and submit for approval a novel compound for drug-resistant TB; and conduct early basic research toward fulfilling the dream of an AIDS vaccine.  

It’s also what inspires us to partner with more than 100 community-based organizations in 40 countries and to contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals to reduce mortality in women and children by 2015.

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July 20th, 2012

New ennTV Episode: Meet DePuy Synthes!

The new episode of ennTV is out, and this one is a special edition focusing on the completed acquisition of Synthes which closed earlier this year.  This special episode takes a look inside the new organization, the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and gives a bit of the rich history of both companies (DePuy goes back to 1895; Synthes to 1958).  Since, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m going to let this episode of ennTV speak for itself with a detailed look at the newest member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and the many ways in which it helps patients.

 

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June 19th, 2012

2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research Honors Joint Discovery of micro-RNA

 

By Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head, Global Regulatory Affairs, Janssen R&D

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research honors the work of an active scientist in academia, industry or a scientific institute and recognizes scientific excellence in the advance of healthcare knowledge, while fulfilling responsibilities in the community.  The award was named after Dr. Paul Janssen, an extraordinarily gifted scientist who revolutionized modern medicine and inspired many who follow in his footsteps.  Today we announced the winners of the 2012 award:  Dr. Victor Ambros and Dr. Gary Rukvun, the co-discoverers of micro-RNA.

I am pleased that we can recognize the transformational discovery, as well as the collaborative spirit, of Drs. Ambros and Ruvkun with the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Their tireless search for answers, as well as their partnership, echo the passionate pursuit of scientific knowledge for the benefit of patients exemplified by Dr. Paul.

When micro-RNA was first discovered in a roundworm by Dr. Victor Ambros’ lab in the early 1990’s its function and its relevance to humans was unknown.  What he and his lab found appeared to be a peculiarly small stretch of RNA which bound to other RNA in the worm’s cells.

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June 16th, 2012

BAND-AID® Brand Magic Vision

 

From Bryant Ison, Senior Brand Manager, BAND-AID® Brand

Kids are always the toughest critics.  My kids have honed this talent.  Over the years, they have pointed out every one of my grey hairs, every extra pound I’ve gained and every wrinkle (that they’ve created.)  So, even though the new BAND-AID® Brand Magic Vision app – featuring Disney’s The Muppets – represented the brand perfectly and met our business goals I was worried when I gathered them around the iPad to show them the app for the first time.

I pulled out a box of Muppets bandages and started up the app.  As they waited for the app to boot, I felt my 4-yr old start to slide off my lap in boredom as if to say “TV doesn’t take this long to load.”  However, once the familiar music started up, he jumped back up on my lap, eyes wide.

What happened next was a mixture of mayhem and delight.  The kids went absolutely bananas when they saw Kermit singing right in front of them. The youngest spent at least 3 minutes trying to figure out where Kermit the Frog was on the other side of the iPad.  My oldest occupied himself with composing creative “family” photos with The Great Gonzo and Miss Piggy.  When the dust settled, I felt like I was super dad with my kids asking, “did you really make that?”

Although I took credit for it with my kids, I didn’t technically make the app.  It started with a casual conversation at the Disney sales meeting.  Over a drink with one of their creative people, I learned about the technology – Augmented Reality – that overlays a unique and fun experience over reality via your smartphone’s camera.  It sounded like science fiction, but I saw it as an extension the “magical moment” that happens when moms pull out a deco bandage.  There’s nothing like a BAND-AID® Brand decorated bandage to change a traumatic moment into a fun experience.  But this cool technology – it existed, I asked.  People had actually seen this, right?   Thus began an 18-month odyssey to bring the app to life.

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June 14th, 2012

2012 Pacific Health Summit: Collaborating to Deliver Game Changers in Healthcare

 

From Wim Parys, Global Head, Infectious Diseases Therapeutic Area, Janssen R&D

This week, I had the opportunity to join a Johnson & Johnson delegation attending the Pacific Health Summit, to meet with global health leaders and discuss an important question facing all of us: how do we get appropriate technologies to the right people at the right price? The theme of this year’s Summit revolved around “Game Changers” — those innovations that make products and services as accessible and affordable for developing nations as they are in the developing world.

Dr. Paul Janssen, our company’s namesake, recognized that transformative healthcare solutions depend on “what’s new”.  Our collective challenge is to advance technological innovation in ways that balance reward, affordability for patients and uncompromising quality. To get there, innovation needs sustained nurturing, investors need compensation for the costs and risks of investing in R&D, and researchers need ways to identify, develop, and bring to market the most effective solutions.

That’s why collaboration is so important.  During the conference I spoke of our work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to address neglected tropical diseases, our cooperation with the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) to support the development of microbicides to help women prevent sexual transmission of HIV, and our collaboration with the TB Alliance to develop the first new treatment for tuberculosis in more than 40 years.

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