May 7th, 2010

To All Who Use Our Products — From Bill Weldon

I just wanted to share the following open letter from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon about the recent recalls at our McNeil Consumer Healthcare company. He asked us to publish it by posting on JNJBTW:

To All Who Use Our Products,

We have a responsibility at Johnson & Johnson to provide you with the highest-quality products possible, and we have worked hard to fulfill that responsibility day-by-day for over a century.

The recent recalls of some over-the-counter medicines from our McNeil Consumer Healthcare operating company are a matter of great concern. They are a disappointment to me, and to the employees of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. You can be confident that we will make whatever changes are needed at McNeil to fully restore the quality of its manufacturing.

As reported, McNeil has suspended all manufacturing operations at its facility in Fort Washington, Pa., until we can be sure that they are operating under the standards we demand of ourselves, and which our customers expect of us. McNeil has also retained independent quality experts to assist in this regard and is re-evaluating quality systems and manufacturing processes across the organization.

I have been assured that the chance of a serious medical event from the recalled products is remote.

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May 4th, 2010

McNeil’s Response to Today’s News

Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a report describing manufacturing-related observations from inspections of the McNeil Consumer Healthcare facility at Fort Washington, PA related to the recent recall announcement and later held a press conference to go over their findings. In response, McNeil issued a public statement. You can read the entire statement, but I thought the following passage is important to note:

We have no higher concern than providing parents with the highest quality products for their children. The quality issues that the FDA has observed, many of which we had recently identified in our own quality reviews and communicated to the FDA, are unacceptable to us, and not indicative of how McNeil Consumer Healthcare intends to operate. While the chance of serious adverse medical reaction is remote, we apologize to those who rely on our medicines for the concern and inconvenience this recall may have caused. We will provide a detailed response to the FDA on their observations, and work diligently to ensure that they are addressed.

A complete list of the products involved and additional information about the recall can be found on their website, www.mcneilproductrecall.com or by calling 1-888 222-6036.

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May 1st, 2010

McNeil Announces Voluntary Recall

Last night, the McNeil Consumer Healthcare business of Johnson & Johnson announced the voluntary recall of certain lots of over-the-counter infants’ and children’s products. In their press release, the company said the following that explains why this is happening:

“McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards. This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles. While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.”

A complete list of the products involved and additional information about the recall can be found on their website, www.mcneilproductrecall.com or by calling 1-888 222-6036 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time). Any adverse reactions may also be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Program by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, by mail at MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787, or on the MedWatch website at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

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April 23rd, 2010

Tweets from Today’s Shareholder Meeting

As I was wrapping everything up for the day, I thought that for those who weren’t following @JNJComm this morning ‘d share my tweets from today’s annual shareholders meeting. The meeting started at about 10 AM Eastern Standard Time.

10:04 — Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Bill Weldon addresses shareholders at company’s annual meeting #JNJAM10

10:37 — CEO Weldon says 70% of sales are from products with #1 or #2 market share positions #JNJAM10

10:37 — CEO Weldon says it is the 48th consecutive year Johnson & Johnson has increased quarterly dividend #JNJAM10

10:38 — CEO Weldon says that in 2009, Johnson & Johnson delivered total shareholder return of 11.3 percent #JNJAM10

10:40 — Shareholders elect nominees to the J&J Board of Directors/ratify PricewaterhouseCoopers as independent auditors for 2010 #JNJAM10

10:41 — Johnson & Johnson increased quarterly dividend from 49 cents a share to 54 cents a share http://bit.ly/bnhLmx #JNJAM10

10:46 — CEO Weldon outlines 4 factors that enable growth that will be focused on: 1) innovative products, 2) robust pipelines #JNJAM10

10:47 — CEO Weldon outlines 4 factors that enable growth that will be focused on: 3) global presence, 4) talented people #JNJAM10

10:49 — WW Chairman of Consumer, Colleen Goggins addresses the Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting #JNJAM10

10:50 — Goggins describes opportunities for the consumer business: emerging markets, digital media, non-traditional retail channels, sustainability

10:55 — Johnson & Johnson increased quarterly dividend from 49 cents a share to 54 cents a share http://bit.ly/bnhLmx #JNJAM10 $JNJ

11:03 — Goggins highlights Text4Baby initiative (http://bit.ly/9mo0nK and http://bit.ly/csUdPt) at J&J shareholder meeting #JNJAM10

11:04 — WW Chairman of Medical Devices and Diagnostics Alex Gorsky addresses Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting http://bit.ly/2mgd9k #JNJAM10

11:10 – Gorsky says MD&D segment is “largest in the world” and then highlights some of the breakthrough innovations the company is bring to market

11:19 — WW Chairman of Pharmaceuticals Sheri McCoy addresses Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting http://bit.ly/2mgd9k #JNJAM10

11:23 — McCoy describes how the global pharmaceutical market is roughly $775 billion and projected to grow to over a trillion by 2014 #JNJAM10

11:39 — CEO Weldon describes the company’s Bridge to Employment program — and how it builds HC systems and lives http://bit.ly/b34Q83 #JNJAM10

11:42 — CEO Weldon talks about how Johnson & Johnson responded to the earthquake in Chile http://bit.ly/dwGAXm #JNJAM10

12:23 — That’s the end of the presentations at the J&J annual shareholders meeting.

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April 22nd, 2010

Busy Day Here in New Brunswick… And an Earth Day Video to Boot

It has been a busy day — not only did Johnson & Johnson hold its yearly shareholders meeting (check out my Twitter stream on it – oh, and Margaret Gurowitz’s post on the history of the meeting) — but today was also Earth Day. It so happens, to commemorate the day Rob Halper uploaded a short video on the health channel about some of the green initiatives at our corporate headquarters building in New Brunswick, which was recently awarded LEED Existing Buildings Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This award recognizes performance in key areas like water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials used and wastes generated, and innovative design. Check it out:

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April 21st, 2010

Partnering for a Healthier Future

From Tish Lascelle, Senior Director, Strategy and Assurance, Worldwide Environment, Health & Safety,
Johnson & Johnson

On Earth Day 2010, I’ll be thinking about the year 2015.

I work in an environmental and sustainability capacity for Johnson & Johnson, and during the past 12 months I’ve been stewarding the development of our next set of long-term sustainability goals: our Healthy Future 2015 goals.

When I was a kid I was inspired by Marie Curie. Learning about her was my first realization that women could be scientists – and, she did it in the early 1900’s! On top of that, she was cool because she discovered and named two elements, most notably radium – the early ‘glo’ in Day-Glo (yes, also a child of the 60’s). Madame Curie once said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more.” Her words resonate with me today as I work with the team at Johnson & Johnson to understand more about our role in contributing to a healthier future. I believe our sustainability strategy is richer because we invite the views of our stakeholders.

Dialogue with external partners helps us to identify and understand emerging risks and opportunities in the sustainability space.

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April 19th, 2010

40 Years of Earth Day

From Annette Russo, Manager, Communications and Training, WWEHS, Johnson & Johnson

Like twenty million other Americans, I was part of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I heeded the call for a day of protest and education, and did a small thing to improve the environment. Looking back, I think my Earth Day experiences parallel the history of the day itself. As I eventually became a consultant and groundwater geologist, I understood the reasons for the growing number of environmental regulations. I became part of a growing cadre of environmental professionals trained to address environmental compliance and remediation. We learned to use environmental management systems as a tool for better environmental management.

And today, people take a holistic view of the environment – looking at the products companies make as well as the places where they make them while considering social and economic impacts alongside environmental ones. Many call this “sustainability”, and it has changed the way business gets done. 

It’s Earth Day 1970…I’m standing waist deep in a cold, spring-fed creek in my hometown pushing a wire box filled with heavy rock down into the mud of the creek bed. We’re trying to save the creek. The city moved it a few months earlier to build a new road, leaving a bed that was wide and shallow.

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April 16th, 2010

Giving a Hand to Raise Awareness of Diabetes

Just recently, a colleague of mine over at our LifeScan business gave me a heads up about a project she’s been working one that they hope will help raise awareness about a disease that is all too often about statistics and too seldom about the hearts and minds of the thousands of people it touches.

Back in 2008, LifeScan’s OneTouch brand team launched the Global Diabetes Handprint – which enables people with diabetes to share what it means to them to live with this disease. Inspired by the Word in Your Hand Project found on TuDiabetes.com, the idea is for you to write the one word in the palm of your hand that best describes what diabetes means to you and share it on the Global Diabetes Handprint website.

The Global Diabetes Handprint now has a home on Facebook. When you add your hand image to the site, it will be added to a community mosaic comprised of people representing every age, gender, and race from all around the globe.

Yet beyond raising awareness of a disease that afflicts about 23.6 million people each year what I found particularly intriguing about this initiative is that for every hand received, OneTouch® will donate $5 to one of three diabetes charities – Taking Care of Your Diabetes, Diabetes Education and Camping Association or Diabetes Hands Foundation.

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April 12th, 2010

Improving Health Through Prevention

From William C. Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Although I’ve been a reader of JNJBTW since it was launched, I’ve yet to be a contributor. Today, though, I gave a talk on prevention and why we should pay as much attention to keeping people healthy as we do to treating them when they’re sick – and I thought it was something readers of this blog may find of interest. 

Now I know it may sound simplistic or obvious to say preventing disease is better than treating or curing it, and it may be surprising to hear someone like me – who heads the world’s largest health care products company – advocating this idea.  

But if you’ve spent a lifetime in health care, as I have, you just can’t ignore the nagging sense that there must be a better way to improve the health and well-being of people and make our health care system financially viable than just doing more of what we do now.

While new drugs and technologies help us treat – and cure – many diseases today, it’s also true that we’re treating a lot of preventable disease. The World Health Organization says 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, and 40 percent of cancer could be prevented if people would just do three things: eat healthy, be physically active and not smoke.

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April 8th, 2010

Remember that Appointment!

OK. Perhaps it was that kind of day, but this one had me laughing out loud.

Seriously, it did!

Yesterday, for World Health Day, my colleague Rob Halper uploaded a funny, yet informative video that encouraged people to visit their doctor to the Johnson & Johnson health channel on YouTube. Called “The Appointment” (there’s also a Spanish version called ”La Cita”), it was produced by the Johnson & Johnson company, Health Media, Inc. and, according to Rob, falls somewhere between “The Twilight Zone”, “Monty Python” and “Marcus Welby, MD”. Not sure I’d agree with THAT characterization, but it DID make me laugh — all while reminding me of the importance of making sure that the next time I visit my physician, I make sure to ask the right questions, understand what is being said, take notes if need be and share any changes in my health or life with my doc. Good stuff.

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