Johnson & Johnson
|Founded||January 1886New Brunswick, New Jersey, United Statesin|
|Headquarters||One Johnson & Johnson Plaza,|
|Products||See list of Johnson & Johnson products|
|Revenue||US$82.584 billion (2020)|
|US$19.733 billion (2020)|
|US$14.714 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||US$170.693 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$64.473 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational corporation founded in 1886 that develops medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods. Its common stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the company is ranked No. 36 on the 2021 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Johnson & Johnson is one of the world's most valuable companies, and is one of only two U.S.-based companies that has a prime credit rating of AAA, higher than that of the United States government.
Johnson & Johnson is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the consumer division being located in Skillman, New Jersey. The corporation includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in 60 countries and products sold in over 175 countries. Johnson & Johnson had worldwide sales of $82.6 billion during calendar year 2020.  Johnson & Johnson's brands include numerous household names of medications and first aid supplies. Among its well-known consumer products are the Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson's Baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear facial wash and Acuvue contact lenses. Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical arm is Janssen Pharmaceutica.
1873–1885: Before Johnson & Johnson
Robert Wood Johnson began his professional training at age 16 as a pharmaceutical apprentice at an apothecary run by his mother's cousin, James G. Wood, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.:12 Johnson co-founded his own company with George Seabury in 1873. The New York-based Seabury & Johnson became known for its medicated plasters.:675:15 Robert Wood Johnson represented the company at the 1876 World's Fair. There he heard Joseph Lister's explanation of a new procedure: antiseptic surgery.:31 Johnson parted ways with his business partner, Seabury in 1885.:38
1886: Founding of Johnson & Johnson
Robert Wood Johnson joined his brothers, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson, and created a line of ready-to-use sterile surgical dressings in 1886. They founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886:675:38 with 14 employees, eight women and six men.:43 They manufactured sterile surgical supplies, household products, and medical guides. Those products initially featured a logo that resembled the signature of James Wood Johnson, very similar to the current logo. Robert Wood Johnson served as the first president of the company.:675
1887–1942: Early history
The company sold medicated plasters such as Johnson & Johnson's Black Perfect Taffeta Court Plaster and also manufactured the world's first sterile surgical products, including sutures, absorbent cotton, and gauze. The company published "Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment", a guide on how to do sterile surgery using its products, and in 1888, distributed 85,000 copies to doctors and pharmacists across the United States.:3–99 The manual was translated into three languages and distributed worldwide. The first commercial first aid kit was designed in 1888 to support railroad construction workers, who were often hundreds of miles from medical care. The kits included antiseptic emergency supplies and directions for field use. In 1901, the company published the Handbook of First Aid, a guide on applying first aid.
In 1889, the company hired pharmacist Fred Kilmer as its first scientific director, who led its scientific research and wrote educational manuals. Kilmer's first achievement as scientific director was developing the industrial sterilization process. He was employed at the company until 1934.
The company introduced the world's first maternity kit in 1894 to aid at-home births. The kit contained antiseptic soap, sanitary napkins, umbilical tape, and Johnson's Baby Powder. The products were later marketed separately, including "Lister's Towels," the world's first mass-produced sanitary napkins. Kilmer wrote "Hygiene in Maternity", an instructional guide for mothers before and after delivery. In 1904, the company expanded its baby care products with "Lister's Sanitary Diapers", a diaper product for infants.
During the Spanish–American War, Johnson & Johnson developed and donated 300,000 packaged compressed surgical dressings for soldiers in the field:78 and created a trauma stretcher for field medics. The company donated its products in disaster relief efforts of the 1900 Galveston hurricane:79 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.:81
Johnson & Johnson vaccinated all of its employees against smallpox during the 1901 smallpox epidemic. The firm employed more than 1,200 people by 1910. Women accounted for half of the company's workforce and led a quarter of its departments.
Robert Wood Johnson died in 1910, and he was succeeded as president of the company by his brother James Wood Johnson.:195
During World War I, Johnson & Johnson factories increased production to meet wartime demands for sterile surgical products. In 1916, the company acquired Chicopee Manufacturing Company in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts to meet demand.:129 Near the end of World War I, the 1918 flu pandemic broke out. The company invented and distributed an epidemic mask which helped prevent the spread of the flu.
In 1919, Johnson & Johnson opened the Gilmour Plant near Montreal, its first factory outside of the United States, which produced surgical products for international customers. In 1924 the company's first overseas manufacturing facility was opened in Slough, England.
In 1920, Earle Dickson combined two Johnson & Johnson products, adhesive tape and gauze, to create the first commercial adhesive bandage. Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages began sales the following year. In 1921, the company released Johnson's Baby Soap. Named after its Massachusetts facility, Johnson & Johnson built a textile mill and company town, Chicopee, outside of Gainesville, Georgia.:170 In the 1930s, the company expanded operations to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa. In 1931, Johnson & Johnson introduced the first prescription contraceptive gel marketed as Ortho-Gynol.
During The Great Depression Johnson & Johnson kept all its workers employed and raised wages by five percent.:191 In 1933, Robert Wood Johnson II wrote a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, calling for a federal law to increase wages and reduce hours for all American workers.:199 The company also opened a new facility in Chicago during that period.:191 Johnson wrote and distributed "Try Reality: A Discussion of Hours, Wages, and The Industrial Future" to persuade business leaders to follow his lead, advocating that business is more than profit and that companies have responsibilities to consumers, employees, and society. In "Try Reality", the section titled "An Industrial Philosophy" would later become the company's credo.:224
In 1935, Johnson's Baby Oil was added to its line of baby products. Both male and female Johnson & Johnson employees were drafted and enlisted during World War II. The company ensured no one would lose their job when they returned home. Robert Wood Johnson II was appointed head of the Smaller War Plants Corporation in Washington, D.C. His work ensured U.S. factories with under 500 employees were awarded government contracts.
1943–44: Credo and going public
In 1943, as the company was preparing for its initial public offering (IPO), Robert Wood Johnson wrote what the company would call, "Our Credo", a defining document that has been used to guide the company's decisions over the years. The company completed its IPO and became a public company in 1944.
1959: McNeil Consumer Healthcare
McNeil Consumer Healthcare was founded on March 16, 1879, by Robert McNeil. In 1904, one of McNeil's sons, Robert Lincoln McNeil, became part of the company, and together they created McNeil Laboratories in 1933. The company focused on the direct marketing of prescription drugs to hospitals, pharmacists, and doctors. The development of acetaminophen began under the leadership of Robert L. McNeil Jr., who later served as the firm's chairman. In 1959, Johnson & Johnson acquired McNeil Laboratories and a year later, the company was able to sell Tylenol for the first time without a prescription.
In 1977, two subsidiary companies were created: McNeil Medicals Products and McNeil Consumer Products Company (also known as McNeil Consumer Healthcare). In 1993, McNeil Medicals Products merged with Ortho Pharmaceutical to form Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. In 2001, McNeil Consumer Healthcare changed its name to McNeil Consumer & Specialty Medicals Products. The name was later changed to "McNeil Consumer Healthcare".
In 1933, Swiss chemist Bernhard Joos set up a small research laboratory in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. This led to the founding of Chemische Industrie-Labor AG (Chemical Industry Laboratory AG or Cilag) on May 12, 1936. In 1959, Cilag joined Johnson & Johnson. In the early 1990s, the marketing departments of Cilag and Janssen Pharmaceutica joined to form Janssen-Cilag. The non-marketing departments still operate under their original name.
1961: Janssen Pharmaceuticals
In 1933, Constant Janssen, the father of Paul Janssen, acquired the right to distribute the pharmaceutical products of Richter, a Hungarian pharmaceutical company, for Belgium, the Netherlands and Belgian Congo. On October 23, 1934, he founded the N.V. Produkten Richter in Turnhout. After the Second World War, the name was changed to Eupharma, although the original company name Richter would remain until 1956.
In 1956, Paul Janssen founded his own research laboratory within the Richter-Eurpharma company of his father. On 5 April 1956, the name of the company was changed to NV Laboratoria Pharmaceutica C. Janssen (named after Constant Janssen). On May 2, 1958, the research department in Beerse became a separate legal entity known as the N.V. Research Laboratorium C. Janssen. On October 24, 1961, the company was acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
On February 10, 1964, the name was changed to Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. In 1999, clinical research and non-clinical development became a global organization within Johnson & Johnson. In 2001, a portion of their research activities were reorganized under the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development organization. in the U.S. The research activities of the Janssen Research Foundation and the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute were merged into the new global research organization. On October 27, 2004, the Paul Janssen Research Center was founded.
In August 2013, the company acquired Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In November 2014, the company acquired Alios BioPharma, Inc. for $1.75 billion, and Alios was incorporated into the infectious diseases therapeutic area of Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
The company's CNS products include the ADHD drug Concerta (methylphenidate extended release), and the long-acting injectable antipsychotics Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) and Risperdal Consta (risperidone). Invega Sustenna and Risperdal Consta were the first widely utilized long-acting depot injections for the treatment of schizophrenia. Designed to address the issue of poor patient compliance with oral therapy, they are administered by intramuscular injection at intervals of two weeks and one month, respectively. Only minimal improvements in outcomes relative to the oral versions of these drugs were observed in the clinical trial setting, but some evidence suggests that the advantages of long-acting injections in clinical practice may be greater than is readily demonstrated in the environment of a clinical trial.
DePuy was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1998, rolling it into the Medical Devices group.
In September 2010, Johnson & Johnson announced it had completed the acquisition of Micrus Endovascular, manufacturer of minimally invasive devices for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Micrus operates under Codman Neurovascular, a business unit of Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.
On June 14, 2012, Johnson and Johnson acquired Synthes for $19.7 billion. This acquisition established the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson, which includes: Codman & Shurteff, Inc., DePuy Mitek, Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., and DePuy Spine, Inc. In February 2015, DePuy announced it would acquire Olive Medical Corporation. In May 2016, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., acquired Biomedical Enterprises, Inc., an industry leader in small bone fixation. Later in December of the same year, DePuy Synthes announced it would acquire Pulsar Vascular Inc., adding Pulsar to its Codman division.
In January 2017, the company acquired Interventional Spine, Inc. In April 2017, Irish subsidiary DePuy Ireland Unlimited Company announced it would acquire Neuravi, a company with a portfolio of products for hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes, with Codman Neuro behind the deal. In June, DePuy Synthes Products, Inc. announced it would acquire Innovative Surgical Solutions, LLC, bolstering the company's technology for innovative nerve localisation in spinal surgery.
1999: Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Janssen Biotech, Inc., formerly known as Centocor Biotech, Inc., is a biotechnology company that was founded in Philadelphia in 1979. In 1982, Centocor transitioned into a publicly traded company. In 1999, Centocor became a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Since the acquisition, Janssen Biotech increased its annual sales from $500 million to more than $2 billion. During the same period, research and development investment increased from $75 million to more than $300 million.
In 2008, Centocor, Inc. and Ortho Biotech Inc. merged to form Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. In June 2009 Johnson & Johnson, through a new wholly owned subsidiary, Kite Merger Sub, Inc., announced it would purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. for $43.00 in cash or around $970 million. In the same year, Johnson & Johnson Nordic AB acquired Amic, developer of in vitro diagnostic, further strengthening the Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics division.
In June 2010, Centocor Ortho Biotech acquired RespiVert, a privately held drug discovery company focused on developing small-molecule, inhaled therapies for the treatment of pulmonary diseases. In June 2011, Centocor Ortho Biotech changed its name to Janssen Biotech, Inc. as part of a global effort to unite the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies around the world under a common identity. In December 2014, the company announced it would co-develop MacroGenics cancer drug candidate (MGD011) which targets both CD19 and CD3 proteins in treating B-cell malignant tumours. This could net MacroGenics up to $700 million. In January 2015, the company announced it will utilise Isis Pharmaceuticals' RNA-targeting technology to discover and develop antisense drugs targeting autoimmune disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, with the partnership potentially generating up to $835 million for Isis. In May 2018, Janssen announced it would acquire BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
In December 2019 XBiotech Inc. announced it would sell its novel antibody treatment (bermekimab) that neutralizes interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1⍺) to Janssen Biotech, Inc. for $750 million plus up to a further $600 million.
Johnson & Johnson acquired George F. Merson's company in 1947, and it was renamed Ethicon Suture Laboratories. In 1953 this became Ethicon Inc. In 1992, Ethicon was restructured, and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. became a separate corporation. During the 1990s, Ethicon diversified into new and advanced products and technologies and formed four different companies under the Ethicon umbrella, each of which specializes in different products.
In 2008, J&J announced it would acquire Mentor Corporation for $1 billion and merge its operations into Ethicon. In the same year, Ethicon acquired Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. for $25 per share, or $438 million in total. In May 2012, Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment Ltd announced it would acquire surgery blood clotting developer, Guangzhou Bioseal Biotechnology Co., Ltd. In March 2016, J&Js Ethicon business unit announced it would acquire NeuWave Medical, Inc. In January 2017, J&J subsidiary Ethicon announced it would acquire Megadyne Medical Products, Inc., and the next month it acquired Torax Medical for an undisclosed sum. In June 2018, the business announced that Advanced Sterilization Products would be sold off to Fortive Corporation for around $2.8 billion.
In February 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced that Ethicon had agreed to acquire surgical robotic company, Auris Health Inc, for $3.4 billion in cash and over $2.3 billion in contingent payments based on performance. In December of the same year, the company announced it would acquire the portion of Verb Surgical Inc, that it did not already own, from Verily, Alphabet's life sciences division.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery was part of Ethicon Inc. until 1992, when it became a separate corporate entity under the J&J umbrella. In 2008 Ethicon Endo-Surgery acquired tissue sealing system developer, SurgRx, Inc. In September 2011 the business acquired SterilMed, Inc.
In July 2016, J&J announced its intention to acquire the privately held company, Vogue International LLC, boosting Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. In September of the same year, J&J announced it would acquire Abbott Medical Optics from Abbott Laboratories for $4.325 billion, adding the new division into Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
In January 2017, J&J fought off competition from Sanofi to acquire Swiss drugmaker Actelion. Later in the month J&J announced a $30 billion deal, the largest ever pursued by the company, to purchase the Swiss company Actelion and to spin off its research and development unit, into a separate legal entity. In March, the company declared its tender offer for Swiss biotechnology company Actelion successful on Friday, reporting that Janssen Holding GmbH controlled 77.2 percent of the voting rights after the main offer period, equating to 83,195,346 Actelion shares. In keeping with earlier agreements, the company announced its intention to delist Actelion, while creating the Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company, Idorsia Ltd. J&J will control 16% of Idorsia, with the ability to raise their stake to 32% through convertible notes.
In July 2017, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc announced that its Abbott Medical Optics subsidiary would acquire TearScience, who recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for an office-based approach to imaging meibomian glands and treating meibomian gland dysfunction. In September, the company acquired subscription-based contact lens startup Sightbox.
In March 2018, the company announced that LifeScan, Inc. would be sold off to Platinum Equity for around $2.1 billion. In September of the same year Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH acquired Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH, manufacturer of 3D-printed titanium interbody implants for spinal fusion surgery.
In 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced the release of photochromic contact lenses. The lenses adjust to sunlight and help eyes recover from bright light exposure faster. The lenses contain a photochromic additive that adapts visible light amounts filtered to the eyes and are the first to use such additives.
In August 2020, it was announced that Johnson & Johnson is set to buy the biotech company Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5 billion. In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said, "The acquisition was driven by the significant opportunity seen in nipocalimab, along with the scientific capability Janssen is acquiring with the Momenta team."
Johnson & Johnson committed over $1 billion toward the development of a not-for-profit COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Paul Stoffels of Johnson & Johnson said, "In order to go fast, the people of Johnson & Johnson are committed to do this and all together we say we're going to do this not for profit. That's the fastest and the best way to find all the collaborations in the world to make this happen so we commit to bring this at a not-for-profit level."
Janssen Vaccines, in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), is responsible for developing the vaccine candidate, based on the same technology used to make its Ebola vaccine. The vaccine candidate is expected to enter phase 1 human clinical study in September 2020.
Demand for the product Tylenol surged two to four times normal levels in March 2020. In response, the company increased production globally. For example, the Tylenol plant in Puerto Rico ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In response to the shortage of ventilators, Ethicon, with Prisma Health, made and distributed the VESper Ventilator Expansion Splitter, which uses 3D printing technology, to allow one ventilator to support two patients.
In April 2020, Johnson & Johnson entered a partnership with Catalent who will provide large-scale manufacturing of J&J's vaccine at Catalent's Bloomington facility. The partnership was expanded to include Catalent's Italian facility in July 2020.
In June 2020, Johnson & Johnson and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed its intention to start a clinical trials of J&J's vaccine in September 2020, with the possibility of Phase 1/2a human clinical trials starting at an accelerated pace in the second half of July.
In July 2020, Johnson & Johnson pledged to deliver up to 300 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S., with 100 million upfront and an option for 200 million more. The deal, worth more than $1 billion, will be funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the U.S. Defense Department.
On 5 August 2020, the US government agreed to pay more than $1 billion to Johnson and Johnson (medical device company) for the production of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. As part of the agreed-upon deal, the U.S. can order up to 200 million additional doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
In September 2020, Johnson & Johnson started its 60,000-person phase 3 adenovirus-based vaccine trial. The trial was paused on October 12, 2020, because a volunteer became ill, but the company said it found no evidence that the vaccine had caused the illness and announced on October 23, 2020, that it would resume the trial.
In September 2020, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing agreed with Johnson & Johnson, to support the manufacture of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, including technology transfer and fill and finish manufacture.
On 29 January 2021, Johnson & Johnson released an efficacy report that is based on data from the Phase 3 trial of its vaccine According to the data, the company's new vaccine, which is a single shot compared to Pfizer/BioNTech's or Moderna's two-shot treatment, is 66% effective overall regarding preventing moderate to severe forms of COVID-19 in people who received the shot, and 85% effective regarding its ability to prevent severe forms of the disease.
In March 2021, workers at an Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore, Maryland conflated the ingredients of two COVID-19 vaccines, causing about 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine to be ruined. The mix-up, which federal officials attributed to human error, delayed future shipments of the vaccine.
In April 2021, federal health agencies called for a halt in distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to the emergence of a rare blood clotting in six recipients. These cases were determined as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (a "rare and severe" blood clot) in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) and affected six women between the ages of 18 and 48 who had recently received the vaccine. Their symptoms occurred 6–13 days after they had received the vaccination, and it was reported that one woman had died and a second woman had been hospitalized in critical condition. The agencies stated that these adverse events "appear to be extremely rare", but the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) would convene on April 14 to investigate the reports.
On June 11, 2021, the FDA announced that approximately 60 million J&J vaccine doses from a troubled plant in Baltimore must be disposed of. A remaining 10 million doses from the plant are still allowed for distribution; however, this comes with a warning that "regulators cannot guarantee that Emergent BioSolutions, the company that operates the plant, followed good manufacturing practices."
The company's business is divided into three major business sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Consumer Health. In 2020, these segments contributed 55%, 28%, and 17%, respectively, of the company's total revenues.
|Pharmaceuticals||Medical Devices||Consumer Health|
Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease
Infectious Diseases & Vaccines
Surgery (General & Advanced)
Over the Counter Medicines
The company's major franchises in the Pharmaceuticals segment include Immunology, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease and Vaccines, Oncology, Cardiovascular and Metabolism, and Pulmonary Hypertension.
Oncology products include Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma and Zytiga (abiraterone), an androgen antagonist for the treatment of prostate cancer. In clinical trials, abiraterone treatment was associated with a 4.6 to 5.2 survival advantage when used either before or after chemotherapy with platinum-based drugs. On December 31, 2012, the FDA approved Sirturo (bedaquiline), a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the infection in more than forty years.
Historically notable drugs include Incivio (telaprevir) for treating hepatitis C, whose sales declined from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $106 million in 2016 as competing curative drugs emerged. HIV drugs include Edurant (rilpivirine), Intelence (etravirine) and Prezista (darunavir) but as of 2018, the most significant of these only accounted for around two percent of total revenue at $211 million.
The company's major franchises in the Medical Devices segment include Interventional Solutions, Orthopaedics, Surgery (General & Advanced), and Vision.
The company's major franchises in the Consumer Health segment include Baby Care, Oral Care, Over the Counter Medicines, Skin Health, Women’s Health, and Wound Care.
For the fiscal year 2018, Johnson & Johnson reported earnings of $15.3 billion, with an annual revenue of $81.6 billion, an increase of 6.7% over the previous fiscal cycle. Johnson & Johnson's shares traded at over $126 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over $367.5 billion in September 2018.
in mil. US$
in mil. US$
The current members of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson for 2020 are: Alex Gorsky, Mary C. Beckerle, D. Scott Davis, Ian E. L. Davis, Jennifer A. Doudna, Mark B. McClellan, Anne M. Mulcahy, William D. Perez, Charles Prince, A. Eugene Washington, Marillyn A. Hewson, Hubert Joly, and Ronald A. Williams. and Mark Weinberger.
The current members of the Executive Committee of Johnson & Johnson are: Joseph Wolk (the company's chief financial officer from 2014), Peter Fasolo, Ashley McEvoy, Thibaut Mongon, Paul Stoffels, and Michael Sneed, Jennifer Taubert, Michael Ullmann, and Kathy Wengel.
On July 2, 2018, Johnson & Johnson's head of pharmaceuticals, Joaquin Duato, became the vice-chairman of the executive committee.
- Robert Wood Johnson I (1887–1910)
- James Wood Johnson (1910–1932)
- Robert Wood Johnson II (1932–1963)
- Philip B. Hofmann (1963–1973)
- Richard B. Sellars (1973–1976)
- James E. Burke (1976–1989)
- Ralph S. Larsen (1989–2002)
- William C. Weldon (2002–2012)
- Alex Gorsky (2012–present)
Headquarters and the New Brunswick gentrification
The company has historically been located on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in New Brunswick. The company considered moving its headquarters out of New Brunswick in the 1960s but decided to stay in the town after city officials promised to revitalize downtown New Brunswick by demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones. While New Brunswick lost many historic structures, including the early home of Rutgers University, and most of its historic commercial waterfront to the redevelopment effort, the gentrification did attract people back to New Brunswick. Johnson & Johnson hired Henry N. Cobb from Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design its new headquarters. Johnson and Johnson Plaza, in a park across the railroad tracks from the older portion of the headquarters, is one of tallest buildings in New Brunswick.
The stretch of Delaware and Raritan canal by the company's headquarters was replaced by a stretch of Route 18 in the late 1970s, after a lengthy dispute. In 2002, the company released its plan of setting up Asia-Pacific information technology headquarters in New South Wales within five years.
Johnson & Johnson has set several positive goals to keep the company environmentally friendly and was ranked third among the United States's largest companies in Newsweek's "Green Rankings". Some examples are the reduction in water use, waste, and energy use and an increased level of transparency. Johnson & Johnson agreed to change its packaging of plastic bottles used in the manufacturing process, switching their packaging of liquids to non-polyvinyl chloride containers. The corporation is working with the Climate Northwest Initiative and the EPA National Environmental Performance Track program. As a member of the national Green Power Partnership, Johnson & Johnson operates the largest solar power generator in Pennsylvania at its site in Spring House, Pennsylvania.
Recalls and litigation
1982 Chicago Tylenol murders
On September 29, 1982, a "Tylenol scare" began when the first of seven individuals died in Chicago metropolitan area, after ingesting Extra Strength Tylenol that had been deliberately laced with cyanide. Within a week, the company pulled 31 million bottles of capsules back from retailers, making it one of the first major recalls in American history. The incident led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws. The case remains unsolved and no suspects have been charged. Johnson & Johnson's quick response, including a nationwide recall, was widely praised by public relations experts and the media and was the gold standard for corporate crisis management.
2010 children's product recall
On April 30, 2010, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, voluntarily recalled 43 over-the-counter children's medicines, including Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. The recall was conducted after a routine inspection at a manufacturing facility in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, United States revealed that some "products may not fully meet the required manufacturing specifications". Affected products may contain a "higher concentration of active ingredients" or exhibit other manufacturing defects. Products shipped to Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Fiji were included in the recall. In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said "a comprehensive quality assessment across its manufacturing operations" was underway. A dedicated website was established by the company listing affected products and other consumer information.
2010 hip-replacement recall
On August 24, 2010, DePuy, a subsidiary of American giant Johnson & Johnson, recalled its ASR (articular surface replacement) hip prostheses from the market. DePuy said the recall was due to unpublished National Joint Registry data showing a 12% revision rate for resurfacing at five years and an ASR XL revision rate of 13%. All hip prostheses fail in some patients, but it is expected that the rate will be about 1% a year. Pathologically, the failing prosthesis had several effects. Metal debris from wear of the implant led to a reaction that destroyed the soft tissues surrounding the joint, leaving some patients with long term disability. Ions of cobalt and chromium – the metals from which the implant was made – were also released into the blood and cerebral spinal fluid in some patients.
In March 2013, a jury in Los Angeles ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $8.3 million in damages to a Montana man in the first of more than 10,000 lawsuits pending against the company in connection with the now-recalled DePuy hip.
Some lawyers and industry analysts have estimated that the suits ultimately will cost Johnson & Johnson billions of dollars to resolve.
2010 Tylenol recall
In 2010 and 2011, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled some over-the-counter products, including Tylenol, due to an odor caused by tribromoanisole. In this case, 2,4,6-tribromophenol was used to treat wooden pallets on which product packaging materials were transported and stored.
In 2010 a group of shareholders sued the board for allegedly failing to take action to prevent serious failings and illegalities since the 1990s, including manufacturing problems, bribing officials, covering up adverse effects and misleading marketing for unapproved uses. The judge initially dismissed the case in September 2011, but allowed the plaintiffs opportunity to refile at a later time. In 2012 Johnson and Johnson proposed a settlement with the shareholders, whereby the company would institute new oversight, quality and compliance procedures binding for five years.
Illegal marketing of Risperdal
Juries in several US states have found J&J guilty of concealing the adverse effects of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' antipsychotic medication Risperdal, produced by its unit, in order to promote it to doctors and patients as better than cheaper generics, and of falsely marketing it for treating patients with dementia. States that have awarded damages include Texas ($158 million), South Carolina ($327 million), Louisiana ($258 million), and most notably Arkansas ($1.2 billion).
In 2010, the United States Department of Justice joined a whistleblowers suit accusing the company of illegally marketing Risperdal through Omnicare, the largest company supplying pharmaceuticals to nursing homes. The allegations include that J&J were warned by the FDA to not promote Risperdal as effective and safe for elderly patients, but they did so, and that they paid Omnicare to promote the drug to care home physicians. The settlement was finalized on November 4, 2013, with J&J agreeing to pay a penalty of around $2.2 billion, "including criminal fines and forfeiture totaling $485 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $1.72 billion".
Johnson & Johnson has also been subject to congressional investigations related to payments given to psychiatrists to promote its products and ghost write articles, notably Joseph Biederman and his pediatric bipolar disorder research unit.
In 2011, J&J settled litigation brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and paid around $70M in disgorgement and fines. J&J's employees had given kickbacks and bribes to doctors in Greece, Poland, and Romania to obtain business selling drugs and medical devices and had bribed officials in Iraq to win contracts under the Oil for Food program. J&J fully cooperated with the investigation once the problems came to light.
Consumer fraud settlements
Use of the Red Cross symbol
Johnson & Johnson registered the Red Cross as a U.S. trademark for "medicinal and surgical plasters" in 1905 and has used the design since 1887. The Geneva Conventions, which reserved the Red Cross emblem for specific uses, were first approved in 1864 and ratified by the United States in 1882. However, the emblem was not protected by U.S. law for the use of the American Red Cross and the U.S. military until after Johnson & Johnson had obtained its trademark. A clause in this law (now 18 U.S.C. 706) permits this pre-existing use of the Red Cross to continue.
A declaration made by the U.S. upon its ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions includes a reservation that pre-1905 U.S. domestic uses of the Red Cross, such as Johnson & Johnson's, would remain lawful as long as the cross is not used on "aircraft, vessels, vehicles, buildings or other structures, or upon the ground," i.e., uses which could be confused with its military uses. This means that the U.S. did not agree to any interpretation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that would overrule Johnson & Johnson's trademark. The American Red Cross continues to recognize the validity of Johnson & Johnson's trademark.
In August 2007, Johnson & Johnson filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross (ARC), demanding that the charity halt the use of the red cross symbol on products it sells to the public, though the company takes no issue with the charity's use of the mark for non-profit purposes. In May 2008, the judge in the case dismissed most of Johnson & Johnson's claims, and a month later the two organizations announced a settlement had been reached in which both parties would continue to use the symbol.
Boston Scientific lawsuits
Since 2003, Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific have both claimed that the other had infringed on their patents covering heart stent medical devices. The litigation was settled when Boston Scientific agreed to pay $716 million to Johnson & Johnson in September 2009 and an additional $1.73 billion in February 2010. Their dispute was renewed in 2014, now on the grounds of a contract dispute.
Patent-infringement case against Abbott
In 2007, Johnson & Johnson sued Abbott Laboratories over the development and sale of the arthritis drug Humira, claiming Abbott used technology licensed exclusively to Johnson & Johnson's Centocor division. Johnson & Johnson won the court case, and in 2009 Abbott was ordered to pay Johnson & Johnson $1.17 billion in lost revenues and $504 million in royalties. The judge also added $175.6 million in interest to bring the total to $1.84 billion. This was the largest patent-infringement award in U.S. history until the 2013 decision against Teva in favor of Takeda and Pfizer for over $2.1 billion. In 2010 Abbott appealed the verdict and in 2011 won the appeal.
Vaginal mesh implants
Tens of thousands of women worldwide have taken legal action against Johnson & Johnson after suffering serious complications following a vaginal mesh implant procedure. In 2016 the U.S. states of California and Washington filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of deception. More than 700 women began a class action against the company in the Federal Court of Australia in 2017, telling the court they "suffered irreparable, debilitating pain after the devices began to erode into surrounding tissue and organs, causing infections and complications". The class action alleged that Johnson & Johnson, which "aggressively marketed" the implants "failed to properly warn patients and surgeons of the risk, or test the devices adequately". Emails between executives show the company was aware of the risks in 2005 but still went ahead and made the product available.
In October 2019, the company and its subsidiary, Ethicon, Inc. reached a settlement with 41 states and the District of Columbia, with no admission of liability, in a suit alleging deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical-mesh devices. The suit also alleges that the company failed to disclose risks associated with the product, which J&J pulled from the market in 2012. The amount settled in the suit was about $117 million.
J&J has been the subject of over 26,000 lawsuits claiming that its baby powder causes ovarian cancer. The lawsuits focus on claims that the talc-based powder is contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen commonly found in places where talc is mined.
In February 2016, J&J was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox, a 62-year-old woman who died of ovarian cancer in 2015. The company said it would appeal.
By March 2017, over 1,000 U.S. women had sued J&J for covering up the possible cancer risk from its Baby Powder product. The company says that 70% of its Baby Powder is used by adults. In August, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. J&J said they would appeal the verdict. The Missouri Eastern District appeals court later negated a $72 million jury verdict in the Jacqueline Fox lawsuit, ruling it lacked jurisdiction in Missouri because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that imposed limits on where injury lawsuit can be filed. The court said, "... establishing a lawsuit's jurisdiction requires a stronger connection between the forum state and a plaintiff's claims." Subsequently, this ruling killed three other recent St. Louis jury verdicts of more than $200 million combined. Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Alabama, died in 2015, about four months before her trial was held in St. Louis Circuit Court. She was among 65 plaintiffs, of whom only two were from Missouri.
In July 2018, a St. Louis jury awarded nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. In August, J&J said that it removed several chemicals from baby powder products and re-engineered them to make consumers more confident that products were safer for children. The company was forced to release internal documents in December, with 11,700 people suing J&J over cancers allegedly caused by baby powder. The documents showed that the company had known about asbestos contamination since at least as early as 1971 and had spent decades finding ways to conceal the evidence from the public. On December 19, 2018, the company lost its request to reverse a jury verdict that ruled in favor of the accusers, which required the company to pay $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages. Though asbestos is a known carcinogen, the potential link between asbestos-free talc and cancer also alleged in these lawsuits is a subject of scientific controversy, as discussed on the Neurologica blog by Steven Novella. A large study performed in 2003 found that ovarian cancer risk increased from a baseline of 0.0121% to 0.0161% in people who reported regularly using talc in the genital area. Two more studies over the next twelve years, which also relied on self-reporting, had similar results. However, none of the three studies showed a relationship between how long someone used talc and how much their cancer risk increased, which is expected in experiments with carcinogens and other toxic substances (see dose-response relationship).
Conversely, in December the following year, a St. Louis jury ruled in favor of Johnson & Johnson in the case of a single plaintiff who had used the company's talc-containing baby powder for thirty years with a similar claim. In 2019, the company's CEO, Alex Gorsky, declined to appear at a United States congressional hearing on the safety of J&J's Baby Powder and other talc-based cosmetics. J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz said that the subcommittee had rejected the company's offers to send a talc testing expert or a J&J executive in charge of consumer products. In response to declining demand, J&J announced it would discontinue the sale of talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada in May 2020, but would continue to sell it in other markets. In a statement, the company said that the existing retail inventory of the talc-based powder will sell until it runs out, while the company's cornstarch-based baby powder will continue to sell in the United States and Canada.
In June 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider an appeal from J&J, leaving in place a judgment from a state appeal court that had cut the original award to $2.1 billion. Two of the justices had to recuse: Samuel Alito because either he and/or his wife owning or recently owning stock in J&J, and Brett Kavanaugh, whose father led an industry group lobbying against safety warnings on talc products. Representing the affected women during the trial, Mark Lanier remarked that the Supreme Court's decision sent "a clear message to the rich and powerful: You will be held to account when you cause grievous harm under our system of equal justice under law.” J&J had argued that the combined claims in the St. Louis trial were too different, yet the short jury deliberation and identical payouts were, therefore, a violation of the company's due process and also that the high punitive award was unconstitutional.
By 2018, the company had become embroiled in the opioid epidemic in the United States and had become a target of lawsuits. Over 500 opioid-related cases have been filed as of May 2018 against J&J and its competitors. In Idaho, J&J is part of a lawsuit accusing the company for being partially to blame for opioid-related overdose deaths. The first major trial began in Oklahoma in May 2019. On August 26, 2019, the Oklahoma judge ordered J&J to pay $572 million for their part in the opioid crisis, and in October J&J paid $20.4 million to two Ohio counties fighting the opioid epidemic.
Northeastern Ohio Settlement
In October 2019, the company agreed to a settlement of $20.4 million with two Ohio counties – Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Summit (Akron). The settlement allows the company avoidance of a trial accusing J&J and many other pharmaceutical manufacturers of helping to spark the US opioid epidemic. The trial, scheduled for October 2019, was thought to be an indicator for thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against many drug manufacturers. The arrangement, which contains no admission of liability by the company, provides the counties $10 million in cash, $5 million for legal expenses and $5.4 million in contributions to opioid-related non-profit organizations in the counties.
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