Has Johnson & Johnson Become Dumb & Dumber or Just Lax and Laxer?

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Even free marketeer Republicans are sick of it – literally. Rep. Darrell Issa, (R., Calif.),   has asked U.S. regulators to look into J & J’s use of a contract manufacturer to make Rolaids antacids that were recalled for quality problems. Issa has requested a probe of J & J product and identified the contract manufacturer as Best Sweet, a Mooresville, N.C., maker of confectionary-based consumer health-care products.

What has happened to the rock-solid reputation of  medicine producer, Johnson & Johnson, and its consumer arm, McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Once the paragon of U.S. corporate efficiency and product integrity, the company was rocked in the 1980’s by the Tylenol tampering cases that were arguably not of its own making.  J & J took immediate action to remove the product from the shelves and protect the public as well as the brand.  Tylenol  came roaring back, and even the Washington Post gushed, “Johnson & Johnson has effectively demonstrated how a major business ought to handle a disaster.”  Lately though,  the consumer giant has had suffered an incredible string of failures and missteps under CEO, William Weldon.

Here’s a list of the product recalls since 2002:

Children’s and infants’ liquid Tylenol products, Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets, Benadryl Allergy, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Children’s Tylenol Meltaway, Motrin IB, Rolaids and St. Joseph’s aspirin.

The recalls also include professional samples of Infants’ Tylenol, Infants’ Motrin and Children’s Zyrtec, along with regular consumer Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Zyrtec and Zyrtec Itchy eye-drops; another recall of children’s and infants’ Tylenol liquid products, Tylenol 8 Hour Caplets, Children’s Benadryl Allergy FASTMELT, Junior Strength Motrin Caplets, Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, certain Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom liquid products, as well as certain Mylanta liquid products and one AlternaGel Liquid product.

In 2008, J & J hired consultants to buy up 88,000 packages of Motrin to avoid public disclosure of problems with the compund. Then the FDA shutdown its Fort Washington, Pennsylvania plant for production deficiencies. Recently, things have gotten even worse. In August of this year, 93,000 artificial hips were recalled because of premature failures of the appliance. What could possibly be going on?

No one can say for sure why the often-emulated quality control procedures of Johnson & Johnson have failed so miserably since 2002, but it may be no coincidence that George W. Bush and his gang of de-regulators started guarding the consumer henhouse in 2000.

Source:  Mad Money, By Jim Cramer

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

30 thoughts on “Has Johnson & Johnson Become Dumb & Dumber or Just Lax and Laxer?”

  1. blogenfreude
    1, December 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm
    I put it down to Woody being distracted by staffing up the Jets to be a ‘win now’ team. But after the last two games, I am losing hope.


    Earth to helmet head … come in helmet head … testing 1 ..2 ..3

  2. “Whistleblowers are over-achievers. They are competent
    and efficient, the kind of people who are concerned that
    things be done right. They are also people who have the
    moral fiber to stand up to corruption.

    In almost every case, they became whistleblowers
    because a moral dilemma, not of their own seeking, was
    thrust upon them. They were asked to do something
    immoral and they refused.

    Ninety-nine out of a hundred people, when faced with
    such a dilemma, will hold their nose and remember
    where their bread is buttered. Or they will convince
    themselves there is no dilemma.

    Most whistleblowers start out doing the right thing
    thinking that once “upper management” or some figure
    of authority learns of the situation they will straighten it out.

    Even after they come to understand that “upper
    management” is not going to save them, whistleblowers
    remain unrepentant and even defiant. From that
    inevitably follows harassment, persecution, and
    vilification. This is not the path for a malingerer.
    Each year taxpayers pay billions of dollars for goods
    and services ranging from health care and defense to
    public safety. And each year taxpayers pay millions of
    dollars to police and prosecute fraud against the public

    Yet one whistleblower can frequently accomplish more
    than a roomful of inspectors or policemen, and costs far
    less. Whistleblowers know the system, and speak out in
    a spirit of public service.

    Whistleblowers are precisely the kinds of people we
    should have in top management of government and
    industry. It is not the whistleblower who needs
    protection so much as it is the public that needs the
    protection of the whistleblower.”

    William Sanjour
    US Environmental Protection Agency


    What Happens When
    A Citizen Takes On
    The Federal Fraud Machine

    Carol A. Valentine

  3. I put it down to Woody being distracted by staffing up the Jets to be a ‘win now’ team. But after the last two games, I am losing hope.

  4. One problem is that the three branches are giving each other so much deference that the public is unprotected. The Courts for instance are dysfunctional and managed in secrecy while the Supreme Court only rules on certain subjects and just ignores the obstacles to procedural due process and how litigants can suffer when a judge is not impartial.

  5. But we MUST remember that government is never the solution – government IS the problem. So endth our reading from the text of St. Ronnie.

    Until the morans of America wake up and realize that there are things that only the government can do and must do we will be victims of the greed & duplicity of our corporate masters.

  6. Swathmore mom:

    “Mentioned Johnson and Johnson to Ekeyrah yesterday. The free marketeer did not respond.”


    I hate it when you can see right through my posts. 😀

  7. We saw a new movie that featured a Pfizer Drug rep as the leading man. It started out showing Pfizer hiring people purely for hard sell and having scantily clad dancers at a sales meeting. It shows them using commissions and location of assignments near their family as motivation to use any and every sales technique including gifts, alcohol and sex to try sell Zoloft for anything and everything to eat into Lily’s sales of Prozac. Then it shows the introduction of Viagra and its informal positioning as a general performance improvement for men with normal sexual performance as well as its pitch to older men. The movie actually portrays using Viagra samples as basically a bribe to get doctors to write more Zoloft prescriptions. It shows the Pfizer sales reps as getting monthly reports of the number of prescriptions written in the sales territory and that directly affecting their monthly pay.

    We liked the movie. It is called “Love and Other Drugs”.

    Maggie is an alluring free spirit who won’t let anyone – or anything – tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie, whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie’s evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love. Based on Jamie Reidy’s memoir “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.”

  8. Speaking of Asia & the so-called Free Market, this video shown by the SONY corp recently to its top execs demonstrates that chances are these regulatory problems will be exponentially magnified in the future:

  9. Mentioned Johnson and Johnson to Ekeyrah yesterday. The free marketeer did not respond.

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