March 21st, 2012

JNJBTW Follow Wednesday


To celebrate the fact that it’s now officially Spring (despite the fact that it’s cloudy and cool today in New Jersey where our World Headquarters is located), we decided to get a little bit crazy on JNJBTW and do a Follow Wednesday post instead of a Follow Friday post.

So here’s a mid-week look at what’s going on in and around the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.  As mentioned a few posts ago, our 2011 Annual Report is out, and this time it’s in three formats:  the traditional print format that we’ve been doing since 1944, the online digital version and now a video highlights version on ennTV.  The first highlight story is here, and as more come out over the course of 2012, we’ll post them on the blog.

Tech Crunch posted about a recent Johnson & Johnson announcement that’s been in the news:  Index Launches Its First Life Sciences Fund: $200M And Partnering With Glaxo and Johnson & Johnson  Bloomberg also has a story.  The Pharmalot blog has an interview with Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, with the Johnson & Johnson perspective behind the announcement.

Over on the Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood section, Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President, BabyCenter LLC,  has a post called Giving New And Expecting Moms Power In The Palm Of Their Hands.

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March 19th, 2012

FIRST Robotics: A Family Experience


From Stephen Cosgrove, Corporate Controller, Johnson & Johnson

My son joined his high school’s FIRST® Robotics team as a freshman in 2000. He had always shown an interest in mechanical and technical things, and joining FIRST seemed like a perfect fit.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The organization works to foster an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, including through events such as their FIRST Robotics Competition. In the FIRST Robotics Competition, students work with mentors and community sponsors to design and build a robot that will compete against other FIRST teams during regional and national events.

For four years, I watched as my son worked with his teammates and mentors to tackle each year’s competition with enthusiasm. From developing a concept to building a robot to competing, the students actively worked to think creatively and problem solve. Over the course of each build season, the team members grew in self-confidence and knowledge.

I was lucky enough to join the team on trips to some of the events all over the United States and offer advice and feedback as they worked to build their robots. Their alliance even won the national championships one year!

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March 14th, 2012

Our 2011 Annual Report is Out – And It’s Now on Video Too!

The 2011 Johnson & Johnson Annual Report is out today and — as the hard copy version makes its way to our shareholders through the mail — I wanted to share the online versions with everyone.  This year, in addition to providing the online digital version of our Annual Report, we also produced a video overview for the first time.  So anyone interested in our Annual Report can read it in print, browse through it online and watch highlights from it on video.  And by the way (or should I say BTW?), the employee who’s hosting our ennTV special Annual Report edition is the person who managed the production of the Annual Report.  As you might imagine, planning and producing an Annual Report is a massive undertaking, but it’s one that’s approached with enthusiasm at Johnson & Johnson because of the opportunity to tell stories about what our employees have been working on around the world –work that carries forward our now 126-year old tradition of caring for people.

Our 2011 Annual Report illustrates the ways in which Johnson & Johnson continues to bring meaningful innovation to patients and customers worldwide.  During 2011, our 125th anniversary year, the Company strengthened its product portfolios, addressed health care needs around the world, and advanced its product pipelines, which today are some of the best in the industry.  Some of the highlights of this year’s report are a look at scientists in Janssen Research & Development and Crucell organizations who believe there are no limits to what science can do; features on patients in South Africa, the U.S., Germany and England who are all leading healthier lives because of innovations brought to market by Johnson & Johnson operating companies; a look at Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies employees in Japan who, after last year’s earthquake and tsunami, worked tirelessly to re-establish support and supplies to the patients and families who were in need of our products; and stories highlighting some of the community partners we work with to help make a meaningful difference in the lives of people around the world.

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March 7th, 2012

Addressing Shortage of High-Level Disinfectants in Tanzania


From Dan Scavilla, WW Vice President Finance,CFO  Advanced Sterilization Products

The reason I choose to work in the healthcare industry is the opportunity to help improve patient care and worker safety around the world, especially in developing countries where help is needed most. Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), the operating company I work for, focuses on products for infection prevention for patients and their families, healthcare workers, providers and communities. That’s why I am proud to share the news about how ASP is making a big difference in the country of Tanzania in eastern Africa.

Through the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions program, ASP has made a commitment to donate a supply of effective high-level disinfectant to Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania, for the next three years. This teaching hospital employs about 2,000 workers and serves a community of 14 million people, but due to frequent local shortages of high-level disinfectants for reprocessing medical instruments, the hospital has struggled to deliver timely patient procedures and ensure a safe work environment. In August 2011, in partnership with the AmeriCares humanitarian organization, ASP delivered the first of many shipments of donated CIDEX® Activated Dialdehyde Solution to help the hospital operate more efficiently and safely.

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March 1st, 2012

Let the Games Begin! The FIRST® Robotics Competition


Picture this: you’re in a high school gym with hundreds of other onlookers cheering loudly for a team of students. The teams battle against each other to get a basketball through a hoop. Teammates work together as the audience, clad in their team’s colors, scream encouragement.

Sounds like a high school basketball game, right? In fact, it’s the FIRST® Robotics Competition.

Each year, hundreds of students across the country compete in a varsity sport of the mind known as the FIRST Robotics competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” In the FIRST Robotics competition, teams of high school students work with mentors to design a robot to compete against other teams in regional and national competitions.

The FIRST organization was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to foster an interest and participation in science and technology. Kamen is the inventor of well known products such as the Segway. Since its founding, hundreds of thousands of students of all ages have competed in various FIRST competitions.

This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition, the Rebound Rumble Game, launched in early January. The task requires teams to build a robot that can put as many basketballs through hoops of various heights in a two minute and fifteen second match.

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February 24th, 2012

Supporting the National HIV/AIDS Strategy


By Ingrid Clark Durfy, Vice President, Community Affairs and Advocacy, Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Biotech, Inc.

A few weeks ago, I represented Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, at a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) implementation meeting convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

We are very excited to be taking an active role in contributing to the implementation of this first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy.   In fact, this meeting I attended was the third NHAS implementation meeting our company has attended and at each of these meetings, we’ve been joined by representatives of other corporations, foundations, HIV community groups and other stakeholders who came together to discuss how best to achieve the goals of the NHAS.

Released by the White House on July 13, 2010, the vision of the NHAS is clear:  The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.

To achieve this vision, the NHAS has target goals through 2015 in three areas:

•    Reduce HIV incidence
•    Increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV
•    Reduce HIV-related health disparities

Participating in the ongoing dialogue is just one of the steps Janssen Therapeutics is taking to support the NHAS.  For example, we have earmarked a significant portion of our giving to fund the Access to Care Initiative, which supports innovative technologies and initiatives that enable access to care in underserved communities.   Specifically, this Social Innovation Fund program is funding 10 collaborations of nonprofits, researchers and others with a goal to connect at least 3,500 low income people living with HIV to high quality health care and supportive services.

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February 21st, 2012

Johnson & Johnson Announces Alex Gorsky to Succeed Bill Weldon as CEO; Weldon to remain Chairman

For the seventh time since we became publicly traded in 1944, Johnson & Johnson has announced the appointment of a new CEO to lead our company and employees in our mission to serve the health care needs of patients and customers.

In a news release issued this evening, Johnson & Johnson announced that its Board of Directors has named Alex Gorsky Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Johnson & Johnson, effective April 26, 2012, the date of the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.  Alex was also nominated for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting.   Our current Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors and will work to transition leadership of the organization to Alex.

Alex offered this statement on today’s announcement:  “I’m honored that the Board has placed such confidence in me, and I am also aware of the serious responsibilities that come with this office.  Johnson & Johnson is a strong and extraordinary company with enormous opportunities to advance health and well being. I look forward to working with the best employees in the world to achieve future success the way we always have — through unwavering commitment to the principles of Our Credo.”

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February 17th, 2012

Our Statement on Infants’ TYLENOL® Recall

From Jay Kosminsky, Vice President, Worldwide Communication and Public Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

This morning, after announcing a recall of an Infants’ TYLENOL® product, Denice Torres, who’s the President of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, sent the following letter to Johnson & Johnson employees. I think it shows the passion of Denice and her team to bring McNeil back, and I’d like to share it with all of you. We’ve also reached out to consumers about the recall, including a video to help them understand the issue. I hope you’ll visit to learn more. Here’s Denice’s letter…

Dear Johnson & Johnson colleagues,

Today McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced a voluntary recall of the U.S., Infants’ TYLENOL® Oral Suspension, 1 oz. Grape. We’re recalling the product at the retail level after receiving a small number of complaints from consumers who reported difficulty using the product’s SimpleMeasure™ dosing system. SimpleMeasure™ includes a dosing syringe, which a parent or caregiver inserts into a protective cover, or “flow restrictor,” at the top of the bottle to measure the proper dose. In some cases, the flow restrictor was pushed into the bottle when inserting the dosing syringe.  No adverse events associated with this issue have been reported to date and the risk of a serious adverse medical event is remote.

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February 15th, 2012

Our Response to the New York Times Regarding the ASR® Hip System Recall

We occasionally use JNJBTW to respond to media reports that we feel are inaccurate or mischaracterize events involving members of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.  Today, The New York Times published a story about the ASR® Hip System recall, and I wanted to share a letter from DePuy Orthopaedics President Andrew Ekdahl in response to the story. Ekdahl shared this letter with employees, and we post it here with his permission.

February 15, 2012

Dear DePuy Colleagues:

I’d like to address an article that appeared today in the New York Times about the ASR™ Hip System recall.  Specifically, this article focuses on the non-approvable letter DePuy received from the U.S. FDA in August 2009 for the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.  Citing a summary of the non-approvable letter from an undisclosed source, the article implies that the FDA letter concluded that there was a safety problem with the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, and DePuy knowingly continued to market an unsafe product in other regions.   That is simply untrue.

By way of background, the ASR XL total hip replacement system was cleared by the FDA for marketing in the U.S. in 2005 via the 510k process.  We also had filed a PMA in July 2007 for the hip resurfacing version of the device.  DePuy received a non-approvable letter for the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System from FDA in August 2009.

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February 14th, 2012

National Donor Day: Why I Donate

As you read this post over 110,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant, with another person added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.  And although this post focuses on the U.S., the need for donors is a global one.  Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about the people waiting for these needed donations, or the impact we can have, but on National Donor Day, I’d like to open up the conversation and share my own reasons for being a donor.

When I volunteered to write a post for National Donor Day I had to ask myself, why do I donate?  Even though I’m a registered organ and bone marrow donor, and a frequent blood donor, I realized it was a question I hadn’t given much thought to.  I wrestled with it, and consistently came back to the fact that I felt good about it.  I thought surely there’s a much deeper answer here, but in the end, for me, being a donor is truly a reward in itself.  While I know this sounds clichéd, the value I get from being a donor has always outweighed the cost, and I consider myself an avid bargain hunter.

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