Johnson & Johnson is the world’s most well-known producer of health-related goods. Some of their most well-known products available today are Band-Aids, Acuvue, and Tylenol. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson made over $67 billion in sales.
Johnson & Johnson is well-established in 57 countries around the world and they employ about 130,000 people. The company has three separate divisions: consumer healthcare, medical devices and diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals.
Investigations into Johnson & Johnson Due to Serious Patient Injuries
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) led multiple investigations of Johnson & Johnson related to the promotion of certain medications and other potentially dangerous products.
In some cases, the FDA ordered Johnson & Johnson to issue recalls. Johnson & Johnson was censured for the improper marketing of antipsychotic medications. This was a violation of consumer protection laws and put patients in danger as a result.
History of Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson was founded by three brothers named Robert, Edward, and James Johnson. The company was founded in 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They initially focused on the production of wound care products like bandages and sutures, and baby products.
Johnson & Johnson also sold first aid kits to railroad workers before they became a common element in other environments. They also sold health products related to women’s care.
The company is also known today for their support of HIV/AIDS patients. Johnson & Johnson purchased Tibotec-Virco BVBA in 2002, which is a company helping people with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. In 2006, the company acquired Pfizer’s health care unit and added products like Listerine, Lubriderm, and Bengay to their product line.
Johnson & Johnson Product Recalls and Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson has had numerous problems over their span as a company. Among them are recalls from quality control issues and lawsuits from patients harmed by their products. A Tylenol recall was issued in 1982 after seven people had died from cyanide poisoning. Over 30 million bottles of Tylenol had to be recalled.
More problems were reported in 2008 when consumers complained that some of their products had bacteria or metal pieces in them. After two years, the FDA investigated and had to issue a recall on nearly 300 million items because of quality control issues. The FDA found that Johnson & Johnson had violated manufacturing protocols which caused contamination to the products.
Johnson & Johnson acquired DePuy in 1998. DePuy is the first orthopedic manufacturer and was the leading manufacturer of hip replacements in 2010. They were the first to manufacture the metal-on-metal design for hip replacements. The Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, ASR Hip Resurfacing System, and the ASR XL Acetabular System are used by about 70,000 patients in the U.S.
However, there was a flaw in the design which caused the metal components to abrade against each other and corrode away metallic material into the patient’s system. This problem caused serious injuries to patients and the implants have since been investigated by the FDA.
Lawsuits were filed against both DePuy and Johnson & Johnson and are expected to cost the companies billions. There are currently over 14,000 hip replacement lawsuits still pending against Johnson & Johnson.
Johnson & Johnson’s blood thinning medications Xarelto and Pradaxa have both been linked to serious bleeding events that have limited treatment available. There is no antidote to these medications in case a patient suffers a bleeding event making this a severe risk to patient safety. More than 500 patients have died from use of Pradaxa and there are 3,781 serious events recorded from Pradaxa in the adverse event database.
If you or someone you know is coping with injuries from Johnson & Johnson products due to defects, you may be able to recover compensation after talking with a lawyer.