Four years ago, I would have said that Johnson & Johnson was one of the best companies in the world. As a former J&J marketer (for almost half of the 90′s) and a second generation J&J alum (my dad worked in finance for J&J in the 60′s), I was proud of the ethical standards of the company. No longer. The shock first hit me in 2010 when my infant son’s fever spiked above 104 degrees and our pediatrician warned me not to use infant Tylenol if I happened to find it on the shelves.
The health care products giant Johnson & Johnson continued to market an artificial hip in Europe and elsewhere overseas after the Food and Drug Administration rejected its sale in the United States based on a review of company safety studies.
During that period, the company also continued to sell in this country a related model, which earlier went on the market using a regulatory loophole that did not require a similar safety review.
So you’d think the company would know exactly what to do if anything ever happened to Tylenol again, right?
McNeil did not alert the F.D.A. until September 2009 and then didn’t start a substantial recall until December 2009 — during an F.D.A. inspection of the plant, according to F.D.A. documents.In January 2010, the agency sent a warning letter to Peter Luther, the president of McNeil, complaining that the company’s initial investigation “was unjustifiably delayed and terminated prematurely.” It said that even though consumers had also complained about a moldy smell in Rolaids and Extra-Strength Tylenol, the company had not widened its investigation to include those products.
JNJ used to be a great place to work. Now, the higher level management is full of mediocre, self-serving yes-men. It’s really sad how the company has changed.