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March 11th, 2011

Response to the Recent Animas Recall

Caroline Pavis, Director of Global Communications, Animas Corporation

I recently joined Animas as the new director of global communications. For those of you who may not know, Animas is a company within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies with a direct-to-patient selling model. Many of our 500 employees worldwide touch the lives of patients daily by training and educating them about insulin pump therapy and managing a life with Type 1 diabetes. It is this dedication and personal connection with patients that makes Animas such a fascinating place to work.

During my first few days at Animas, we received notification from our Quality Assurance team that certain lots of the 2-millimeter insulin cartridges provided to customers could leak insulin, which could cause under delivery of insulin to the patient.

Our team at Animas initiated a voluntary recall and put a plan into action that focused, first and foremost, on addressing the safety of patients who use our products. We were able to trace the affected cartridges to six specific lots and devised a plan to alert our customers.

We first sent an email on Feb. 22 to customers who received cartridges from the identified lots, advising them to discontinue use of those cartridges, and use other cartridges they have on hand or revert to their backup insulin administration plan as instructed by their health care providers until they received a replacement shipment of cartridges from Animas later that week.

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March 10th, 2011

McNeil-PPC Finalizes Terms of a Consent Decree with the US FDA: Perspective from J&J Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon

Earlier today, McNeil-PPC, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced that it finalized the terms of a Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction (Consent Decree) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for manufacturing facilities operated by the McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can read the details of that announcement in the press release that was issued.

At the same time, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon sent out an internal note to all Johnson & Johnson employees about the announcement. In it, he provided additional perspective about steps the company is taking:

I am writing to let you know that one of our companies, McNEIL-PPC, Inc., today will enter into what is known as a “Consent Decree” with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Consent Decree is an agreement we have reached with the FDA to govern certain McNeil Consumer Healthcare manufacturing operations until McNeil completes the remediation of its facilities to the FDA’s satisfaction. The Consent Decree is subject to approval by the court.

There are other outstanding legal matters involving Johnson & Johnson companies that have been discussed in past public filings and covered in the media.

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March 10th, 2011

Text4baby Expands to Help Pregnant Women in Russia

From Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson

Our company’s work in improving the health of women and children has always been a source of pride for me. As I have written before, I’ve been lucky enough to have a hand in the development of text4baby, a mobile health service that provides information to expectant and new mothers across the country.

The service, which recently celebrated its first birthday, reached another milestone today with the expansion of text4baby in Russia. Announced by Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, the service will provide expectant and new mothers in Russia important health information to ensure a healthy pregnancy and proper care for their newborn. Delivered to their mobile phone, the program uses widely adopted technology to ensure that Russian mothers are getting proper healthcare information.

Johnson & Johnson is proud to be a founding sponsor of text4baby Russia. Leading Russian civil society organization the Health and Development Foundation will develop text4baby Russia with support from technology company Voxiva and leading experts from the Kulakov Center and the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

As text4baby continues to grow, I am in awe of the partners whose support have helped to make this possible.

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March 1st, 2011

Blissdom 2011: Using Social Media for Social Good

In January, Johnson & Johnson was a sponsor at Blissdom 2011, a leading social media conference for women bloggers, in Nashville, Tennessee. It was great to meet the bloggers in person after following many of them online, and there was a lot of excitement about our theme of “using social media for social good”. We also had a chance to highlight some of our own philanthropic programs like mothers2mothers and Safe Kids. In addition, we set up an informal video studio where we asked attendees, and attendees asked each other, “How have you used social media for social good?” We noted some of these responses about social good previously on JNJ BTW. Below, we’ve edited some of the highlights together, from almost 50 responses, to produce what I think is an inspiring few minutes of video. Thanks to all those who participated!

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February 23rd, 2011

Healthy Food for All

From Bonnie Petrauskas, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson 

This winter, I had the pleasure of attending New Brunswick, New Jersey’s first public forum on what can be done to improve access to readily available, nutritious, safe and affordable foods at all times to help people lead an active, healthy lifestyle.  Known within public health circles as an effort to create “food security,” the meeting was the result of a collaborative effort by Johnson & Johnson, Ellijah’s Promise and the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), among other organizations. Ellijah’s Promise provides culinary training, education, employment, social services and nutritious meals to empower underserved residents in New Brunswick, and offers opportunities for community service.  DEVCO initiates redevelopment projects to aid in New Brunswick’s economic revitalization.  

The local community came together in a big way for this event, creating necessary dialogue around this issue. In New Brunswick, like many cities in this country, residents face many challenges in accessing healthy foods from socioeconomic factors to a lack of understanding about healthy food choices, among other issues.  According to The United States Department of Agriculture’s  most recent Economic Research Service report, 14.7 percent (17.4 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2009.

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February 14th, 2011

Valentine’s Day 2011 — Thinking About Moms and Children

From Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Contributions and Community Relations, Johnson & Johnson

My heart is different this Valentine’s Day — a day when many celebrate love. It has been touched by individuals transforming the world by caring for girls and women who, for many reasons, feel neglected and unloved.

Writing Valentine notes over the past several days to people I love, my mind followed a path back to the work that my team and I are privileged to do at Johnson & Johnson, work with community-based partners dedicated to saving and improving the lives of women and children.

The path began as I addressed a card to my parents and thought of a story that my aunt had told me several years ago. She said that my mother had been in labor for twenty hours in bringing me into this world. If my mother had been giving birth in a rural village outside Dar es Salaam or Addis Ababa, even today, without someone to finally help reposition her yet unborn child, my mother’s prolonged labor likely would have resulted in an obstetric fistula and her daughter would have died inside her. My mother’s good fortune, and mine, was that a nurse was present through most of her labor.

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February 8th, 2011

Happy Birthday — Text4Baby Turns One!!!

By Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson

As a mother, I have always been proud of our work to better the health of women and children around the world. Over the past 2 years, I had the opportunity to be deeply involved with text4baby, an initiative designed to deliver healthy pregnancy information to under resourced expectant mothers.

The idea was simple: leverage the reach of mobile phones to deliver important health information to new and expecting moms. The concept of text4baby was born at the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and quickly became a reality through an innovative platform from Voxiva, the essential backing of CTIA—The Wireless Foundation and the passionate support of the healthcare community across the country.

As David Borstein explained in a piece on today’s online version of the New York Times, helping to raise text4baby has been quite a journey. From the White House to public health clinics across the country, more than 400 partners adopted text4baby as their own. As the founding sponsor of text4baby, Johnson & Johnson salutes the efforts of every partner who helped text4baby reach more than 126,000 moms in just one year. I’ve seen their efforts firsthand at the grassroots level and they are truly moving.

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February 4th, 2011

World Cancer Day 2011

From William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development

Cancer. It’s a disease that affected an estimated 15 million people in 2010. That number is projected to rise dramatically to 27 million by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. These numbers are indicative of a public health concern that deserves to be a priority.

Throughout Johnson & Johnson, there are people who are working to combat cancer and its effects, whether through innovative products or collaborations, such as a recent partnership between Veridex and Massachusetts General Hospital, to develop technology to capture, count and characterize tumor cells found in patients’ blood. This collaboration, which also involves Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, has been discussed on JNJ BTW before…it aims to develop a next-generation, automated diagnostic test that’s can detect a cancer cell from a billion blood cells. The test will be strong enough to reveal the biology of cells at the DNA, RNA and protein levels.

In all segments of our business, pharmaceuticals, consumer and medical devices & diagnostics, we are using our expertise to address cancer.

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February 4th, 2011

Thoughts on Blissdom

From Lynda Benton, Director, Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson

While my family was digging out (again) from yet another snowstorm here in the Northeast last week, I was thankfully able to catch a flight out of snowy Newark to  spend a few days in Nashville, attending my first blogger conference, Blissdom 2011.  Though I’ve been reading blogs for a while, this was my first blogger conference – and I found the energy, wit and passion of the people there to be truly inspiring.  So much so, that I felt the need to try my hand at it with this, my first blog post on JNJBTW. 

 There are already a number of summaries of Blissdom that I’ve come across (including this one from Sarah on her Real Life blog that highlights LOTS of other recaps), so I’m not going to get into all that happened there.  But I did want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the wonderful women (and yes – couple of men!) who shared stories with my colleagues and I from Johnson & Johnson.  You see, while there, we set up a video camera (thanks to Rob Halper, AKA @jnjvideo) and asked everyone one very simple question:  “How have you used social media for social good?”   – and were rewarded with a huge diversity of touching answers.   

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January 27th, 2011

Blissdom 2011!

I’m down in Nashville, where two exciting things are happening. One, it’s not snowing and two, Blissdom is starting! Johnson & Johnson is a sponsor of the conference attended by “women who find and express their bliss by publishing online.” Blissdom is being held at the Opryland hotel, where 650-700 attendees are expected.
Johnson & Johnson will be sponsoring a session entitled, Advocates and Activists: Harnessing Social Media for Social Good in the Face of Compassion Fatigue. We will also be raffling off a $100 donation to a charity through Give Back , an organization that empowers individuals and groups to donate to the philanthropic initiative of their choice. We will also be highlighting our own philanthropic programs, including mothers2mothers(m2m), Text4baby, Safe Kids Worldwide® and Healthy Babies Are Worth the WaitSM. The concept of using social media for social good aligns with our Credo responsibilities to the communities in which we live and work, and the world community as well.

In addition, Blissdom attendees will have the opportunity to make a video recording about what “giving back” means to them. These videos will be edited on-site and posted during the conference to the Johnson & Johnson health channel on YouTube. Check them out!

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