April 29th, 2011

Sports Safety Week With Johnson & Johnson and Safe Kids

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

Last week, Johnson & Johnson had the privilege of launching Sports Safety Week with Safe Kids USA, our partner for the past 24 years.  As the mother of two avid teenage athletes, I have come to recognize the physical and emotional effects of sports-related injuries, and recognize that parents, coaches and kids can play a large role in prevention. 

Safe Kids will host some excellent educational opportunities over the next few months.  A special “Sports Injury Prevention” webcast will take place on Monday, May 2. This will offer important information from a professional athlete and leading sports medicine doctors on sports injury prevention.  In addition, Safe Kids will conduct 100 sports safety clinics nationwide over the next few months.  These are designed to provide hands-on learning. Visit the Safe Kids website for the location of a clinic near you.

Youth sports injury is a serious issue with over 3.5 million children under the age of 14 affected every year. As sports have shifted from being a seasonal to a year round activity the incidences of injuries have continued to climb.  We believe that the only way to reverse this trend is to educate parents and educators about preventing and identifying possible injuries.

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April 28th, 2011

Some Highlights from Today’s Annual Shareholders Meeting

Earlier today, Johnson & Johnson held its annual shareholders meeting in New Brunswick, directly across the street from the company’s headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A replay webcast of the proceedings can be found on the Johnson & Johnson website, and Doug just posted some information about the shareholder votes that took place, but I thought I’d share some of the things that I took away from the meeting.

Addressing the shareholders, Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon discussed some of the issues the company has faced over the past year, including the recall of many well-known over-the-counter products. As Bill explained, “over the course of 2010, we have taken a series of actions to remedy these problems, to understand how they were caused and to implement changes to ensure they do not happen again.” Bill went on to highlight the actions Johnson & Johnson has taken, including how the company “gutted”
its manufacturing plant in Fort Washington, PA, and is now investing over $100 million to build a “world-class, state-of-the-art facility.” Among other things, he also explained how the company has conducted internal quality training for 3,000 employees supporting the US over-the-counter business.

Yet the meeting was more than just a review of the challenges the company has faced.

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April 28th, 2011

Voting Results from Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders

By Doug Chia, Assistant General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Johnson & Johnson

Today, Johnson & Johnson held its 123rd Annual Meeting of Shareholders in New Brunswick, New Jersey. As usual, it was great opportunity for the Company to engage with individual shareholders who took time out of a weekday to hear about accomplishments and future opportunities for the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. It was also an opportunity for our Chairman/CEO, Bill Weldon, to speak frankly about the challenges the Company has faced, and what opportunities lay ahead.

For me, the meeting had a special relevance. Though I’ve participated in a number of our shareholders meetings in the past, this was the first time that I had the honor of attending it participating as Corporate Secretary.

A replay of the meeting and a press release about the day has been posted on our corporate website, and I know Marc captured a few highlights from today on Twitter. As Corporate Secretary I decided I’d post to JNJBTW about something I have direct responsibility for: The votes taken at today’s meeting.

Today, there were seven items voted on by the Corporation’s shareholders, ranging from the election of the company’s directors to a resolution concerning pharmaceutical pricing.

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April 27th, 2011

Our Approach to Access to Medicines and the Medicines Patent Pool

From Will Stephens, Vice President, Global Access & Partnerships, Janssen Global Services, LLC

There is a healthy debate underway on patent pools as a way to increase access to HIV medicines in the developing world. My job as head of our Company’s Global Access & Partnerships Program puts me at the center of this conversation and also gives me a unique perch to see how a patent pool might help.

Africa and the health of its people are very close to my heart. Over the last 10 years, my assignments have taken me to the continent multiple times a year, most recently this past December. Then, our entire global access team met in Johannesburg with community health workers in several challenged communities, checked our progress and made plans for our newest HIV medicine we hope will begin to be introduced this year. We’ve made great progress but the challenges are big and a patent pool may be part of the solution.

Before the Medicines Patent Pool opened its doors this year, we completed (or were in the late stages of completing) eight licensing agreements with low-cost generic companies for our two available HIV medicines and the additional HIV medicine we hope to begin introducing this year.

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April 21st, 2011

Celebrating Sustainability on Earth Day at Johnson & Johnson

From Al Iannuzzi, Senior Director, Worldwide Health & Safety, Johnson & Johnson

Today marks the 41st annual celebration of Earth Day, a day to celebrate our environment and focus on creating a greener planet.

Here at Johnson & Johnson, we are joining the one billion people around the world celebrating this important day. In my role as a senior director of Worldwide Health and Safety for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve had a firsthand look at our work in product stewardship and sustainability across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. As a large healthcare company, it’s important that we remain committed to reducing our medical waste in the environment.

We’ve done a lot of work in the area of sustainability. Our EARTHWARDS program, established in 2009, encourages product stewardship as well as sustainable product innovation in all of our companies. As of today, we have 16 products given the EARTHWARDS distinction, and we hope to have 60 EARTHWARDS products by 2015.

Across the company, our businesses are working to reduce their environmental impact and improve the health of our planet. Our Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics franchise installed a 1.7 Megawatt solar power array at their headquarters in Raritan, NJ. Our campus of Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen powered up the largest solar power installation in New Jersey last September.

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April 12th, 2011

A Longer Allergy Season?!

The weather is turning warmer here in New Jersey and with it come a lot of exciting things – longer days, baseball games and beach trips. For me and many others, it also brings with it the dreaded allergy season. So I was surprised to hear that the 2011 allergy season was expected to be 27 days longer in northernmost parts of North America according to a recent study.

That means 27 more days of sneezing, congestion and especially itchy eyes for the one in five people in the United States that suffer from allergies of the eye. This makes it particularly challenging for some contact lens wearers because allergens and other irritants can build up on contact lenses over time, leading to discomfort and symptoms such as itching, tearing and redness. The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA) has a free brochure on eye health and allergies, supported by 1∙Day Acuvue Moist Brand Contact Lenses, that provides some helpful tips and information for allergy sufferers.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology also offers the following tips to help fight back this allergy season:

  • Keep your windows closed at night
  • Monitor pollen levels from the National Allergy Bureau and try to stay indoors when levels are high
  • Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry
  • Be sure to take any medication prescribed by your allergist regularly, in the recommended dosage

As for contact lens wearers, according to the AFFA’s brochure putting a clean, fresh lens into the eye each day minimizes the potential for the buildup of irritants – like allergens — that occur with repeated use of the same pair of lenses.

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April 8th, 2011

LATISM Tweet Up

I had the opportunity last night to attend and participate in the first LATISM (Latinos in social media) meet up/tweet up, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. The theme was the one that we have been promoting with bloggers for the past several months, asking “How are you using social media for social good?”

Ana Roca Castro, founder of LATISM opened the event and introduced a distinguished panel and speakers, including Susan Can from Ethicon Endo-Surgery, representing Johnson & Johnson, the LATISM-NY Team, Ray Cruz, Reina Valenzeula and George Torres, founder of the Sofrito Media Group.

The panelists included Dr. J. Emilio Carrillo, VP and Medical Director of Community Health at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Monica Talan, VP Corporate Communications at Univision, and Elianne Ramos, CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and Vice-Chair of Communications and PR for LATISM.

Dr. Carillo spoke about Johnson & Johnson, healthcare and the text4baby initiative, especially how it benefits the Latina community.  Other speakers included Ms. Talon, who spoke about Univision and education, Mr. Torres who spoke about Por Tu Familia/NYC initiative for the American Diabetes Association, and Ms. Ramos who spoke about a digital literacy camp being run by LATISM this summer in Haiti.

Perhaps the best part was the free ranging discussions and questions from the enthusiastic audience of about 50 people, most of whom were happily tweeting away during the event, using the hashtags #LATISM, #JnJ and #Text4Baby.

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April 6th, 2011

World Water Day — Making basic changes to improve health

By William Lin and Joy Marini, Directors, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions

Clean water. In our comfortable lives, we don’t give much thought to how precious and scarce clean water and sanitation are in developing nations. Yet – one in eight people globally do not have access to safe water supplies.  The result is heartbreaking. At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by children and adults suffering from a water-related disease.

Last month – to mark World Water Day (March 22) – two of our partners, water.org and Children Without Worms, added their voice to the global coalition working every day to expand access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene education, and tools that are improving the health of children and families, who are sickened by bacteria and other preventable infections from unsafe water.

Children Without Worms and the World Wildlife Fund work together in the villages bordering the Lobeke National Park in Cameroon to promote the WASHED framework, an approach providing clean water, sanitation, de-worming treatment and hygiene education. (Photo provided by World Wildlife Fund.)

Water.org is a global organization empowering families to buy household water connections, toilets, sinks, tubewells, and rainwater harvesting through WaterCredits.

Children Without Worms (CWW) uses a school-based approach to reach the world’s most at-risk children with hygiene education and to administer Johnson & Johnson’s donation of mebendazole – a drug that kills intestinal worms in young people, who may not have access to clean water or basic sanitation.

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April 1st, 2011

Response to Recent Coverage in Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Recently, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published an article covering some recent events at Johnson & Johnson and its operating companies. The piece covered a great deal of ground, ranging from the recent recalls at our DePuy unit to the situation at our McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. To express his perspective on behalf of the employees of Johnson & Johnson, Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon sent a letter to the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek to share our position on the article:

April 1, 2011

Dear Editor of Bloomberg Businessweek,

I read your article this week about our company, and I was truly saddened by your portrayal of Johnson & Johnson. The recent events you wrote about are disappointments for me as the chairman and CEO and, more importantly, for the men and women of our company. We own our mistakes, but your story misrepresents and understates the deep commitment of our 114,000 people who dedicate their careers and lives to serving the world’s human health care needs.

Over the course of Johnson & Johnson’s 125-year history, we have made incredible contributions to the medicines and products that so many people have counted on to cure, heal and help their families to lead healthy lives.

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March 31st, 2011

Raising Awareness of Blood Clot Risk

From Shaun Mickus, Director, Product Communication, Internal Medicine, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Services

It is estimated that every minute of the year, at least one person in the U.S. develops a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), an unwanted blood clot in a deep vein (usually in the leg). If left untreated, part of a DVT can break off and form a pulmonary embolism (PE) – an unwanted blood clot that travels to the lungs. At least every five minutes, someone dies from a PE. 

DVTs can affect people of any age and health status, and this March marks the sixth annual DVT Awareness Month. Public and health care professional awareness of DVTs, including signs and symptoms, has increased over the years, yet more education about clots and risk factors is needed.

To coincide with DVT Awareness Month, Ortho-McNeil, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – the Johnson & Johnson company that I work for – is posting a five-part “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ video series on the Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube to educate about the prevalence, signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and diagnosis of DVTs.

The DVT videos feature several stories of people who have been impacted by a DVT, including a 25-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y.

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