J&J and Guilt by Association

Erik Greb PharmTech editorPublicity about substandard or contaminated products usually lights a fire under pharmaceutical companies, which then race to address their compliance problems. But a new US Food and Drug Administration inspection report shows that, despite a stream of product recalls and a Congressional investigation, Johnson & Johnson (J&J, New Brunswick, NJ) has not gotten its house in order yet. And the company’s latest problems conceivably could make things hot for one of its partners. Read more »

A Timeline of J&J/McNeil’s Recent Recall Troubles

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorJohnson & Johnson and its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit have been all over the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Another recall was issued last week, as was news of a class-action lawsuit in the works against the company. The timeline below summarizes the recent events surrounding J&J/McNeil’s recalls and news. Read more »

J&J CEO Invited to Second Congressional Hearing

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorThe House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon to testify at a second hearing to explore the company’s recent massive recalls of over-the-counter medication, according to reports this week (see Reuters and Bloomberg). Weldon was unable to attend the committee’s May 27 hearing because he was recovering from back surgery at the time. Read more »

Five More Lots Added to January 2010 Tylenol and Benadryl Recall

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorMcNeil Consumer Healthcare/Johnson & Johnson is expanding its Jan. 15, 2010, recall to include four lots of Benadryl and one lot of Tylenol, the company announced on Tuesday. The company said these products were “inadvertently omitted from the initial recall action,” which took effect because of consumer reports of a moldy, musty odor from the medication. As in previous recalls, McNeil said that the risk of serious adverse events is remote. Read more »

More Trouble for J&J: Blacksmith Brands’ PediaCare Recall and J&J’s “Phantom Recall”

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorYesterday, US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns sent a letter to Blacksmith Brands (Tarrytown, NY), a provider of over-the-counter drug and healthcare products, questioning the company’s chairman and CEO about the circumstances of its May 28 voluntary recall of four types of pediatric medications. Read more »

Tylenol Hearing to Take Place Today

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorThe House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing this morning at 10 am to investigate the recent recall of more than 40 of McNeil Healthcare’s infants’ and children’s medications. See the link on the committee’s website to connect to the live webcast. Read more »

Some Recalled Infants’ Tylenol Had Too Much Acetaminophen

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorThe Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that some of McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s recalled infants’ Tylenol contained as much as 24% more acetaminophen than it should have, according to a letter the company sent to physicians and poison-control personnel. McNeil’s letter stated that the samples containing the 24% increase did not reach the public, but that the company could not be sure “all the individual bottles were within specification or that 24% would have been the maximum,” according to WSJ. Read more »

Can Regenerative Medicine Generate Returns?

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The shift in stem-cell policy by the Obama administration and ensuing federal guidelines for human stem-cell research is creating renewed interest in the potential of regenerative medicine as a therapeutic option. As a case in point, the advocacy group, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, was formed earlier this month to promote regulatory, research, and reimbursement policies that will foster innovation in regenerative medicine. The alliance, which includes universities, life-science companies, and healthcare investors, will also serve as a source of information about regenerative medicine for policymakers, the media, and the general public. As the bioethics of certain types of regenerative medicines are debated and its scientific potential evaluated, a bottom-line question arises. Can regenerative medicine generate sufficient financial returns to make it a viable option for the pharmaceutical industry? Read more »

Possible Suitors in Big Pharma M&A

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor Pfizer’s pending $68-billion merger with Wyeth has raised the question on possible suitors in another merger among the pharmaceutical majors. A recent article in the New York Times gained the input of Wall Street analysts, who speculate that Merck, Sanofi-Aventis, and Johnson & Johnson may be next in line to seek acquisitions among their Big Pharma brethen or in select biotechnology companies. Read more »

The Love-Hate Relationship Between Pharma and International Relief

Angie drakulich Pharmtech editorCase 1: Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson sues the American Red Cross for using the famous “red cross” logo on commercial products that seemingly compete with J&J’s own first-aid, red-cross-branded products. Last week, a federal judge ruled that J&J was in the wrong and the international relief agency could continue to use its iconic symbol on sold products, the revenue of which by the way goes right back into the agency’s humanitarian efforts.

Sixteen nations signing the Geneva Conventions officially approved the use of the red cross emblem in 1863, the same year as the founding of International Committee of the Red Cross, as a protective symbol to be placed on humanitarian and medical vehicles and buildings on the battlefield. J&J has been using the symbol for more than a century as well so while the company’s claim has backing, I don’t understand why a pharma company would go after an organization such as the Red Cross whose mission is to provide aid to victims of disaster and is responsible for fulfilling the mandates of the Geneva Conventions within the United States. Are they bored? If so, perhaps they could spend more time on developing drugs that continue to be on top of the global agenda. Read more »

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