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Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has been around since the 19th century. It began with three brothers who created familiar products that remain popular today. Band-Aids, baby powder, Tylenol, and Acuvue contacts are a few of the company’s most famous offerings.

Besides everyday items and drugs, Johnson & Johnson branched out intosurgical products, including a disposable skin stapler, transvaginal mesh, coronary stints, and joint implants. Today, this pharmaceutical manufacturer focuses on global concerns. It uses its vast resources to tackle treatments for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and other serious infectious diseases.

Verdicts Against Johnson & Johnson

There have been numerous lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson. One of the drugs that caused the most upheaval was Risperdal, an antipsychotic that lowers dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. Although it treats a variety of mental disorders, it is known to bring serious side effects, including gynecomstia. In 2012, an Arkansas judge ordered J&J to pay $1.2 billion for hiding and minimizing the drug’s health risks. This came on the heels of a $1 million payout against federal claims of illegal marketing.

In 1998, J&J acquired DePuy, maker of the questionable hip implant devices. The manufacturer was the first to use a metal-on-metal design. However, when the components rubbed together, metal ions were released into the bloodstream. These products were investigated by the FDA and recalled, but they are still subject to litigation. In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson reached a deal to settle its first lawsuit concerning its hip implants. A verdict stated the company must pay $8.3 million to a man who claimed the device he received was defective. Later the same year, a $2.5 billion settlement was reached to end other state and federal lawsuits.

Johnson & Johnson was forced to fight transvaginal mesh lawsuits as well. These products were designed to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse. However, devastating organ perforation, bleeding, and scarring were often resulting injuries. In 2013, J&J was ordered to pay $11.1 million to a woman who suffered extensive problems after having this type of device inserted. The jury tried to send a message to the company that continues to put profits ahead of consumer safety. Following the verdict, Johnson & Johnson requested a new trial but was denied. The judge explained sufficient evidence was presented that proved Ethicon knew about the mesh’s dangers and marketed it anyway.

Recently, a Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a child who nearly died after taking children’s Motrin. Johnson & Johnson was sanctioned to pay $63 million for inadequately warnings patients about the medicine’s possible negative side effects. This verdict was the largest sum ever awarded in an individual Massachusetts personal injury case.

Market experts agree Johnson & Johnson’s reputation has taken a hit from all its legal battles. It may not be too late for injured victims to file claims. For now, this company remains a strong force in the pharmaceutical industry, but it needs to clean up its act and go a long stretch without preventable recalls to overcome its image problems.

Drugs and Medical Devices Recalled Against Johnson & Johnson

Although Johnson & Johnson has been in business for a century, recalls have been issued against certain products. There have been a few recalls on Tylenol, its most popular over-the-counter medicine. The first recall occurred in 1982. Seven people died from consuming Tylenol pills laced with cyanide. Over 31 million bottles of the medicine were recalled, but no one was every charged with tampering with any containers. In 2012, approximately 500,000 bottles of infant Tylenol were recalled due to a dosing problem. These issues left many consumers with questions about Johnson & Johnson’s integrity.

Other problems emerged with its power morcellators. Morcellators are devices used during surgery to make procedures less invasive. In 2014, the manufacturer asked doctors to return the devices after discovering they may inadvertently spread cancer in women who are being treated for fibroids. The morcellators were produced by Ethicon, a division of J&J. Three particular units being recalled were Gynecare Morcellex, Morcillex Sigma, and Gynecare X-Tract.

Besides its morcellators, Johnson & Johnson faced hip replacement recalls as well. DePuy Orthopaedics, owned by J&J, recalled the ASR XL Acetabluar System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System in 2010. According to sources, the hip implants were twice as likely to fail within five years as compared to similar hip replacement options. Also, patients with these devices noted severe pain and swelling at the hip site. Other complications included walking difficulties, fractures, broken bones, and implant dislocations.

Also under fire is Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh products. Four devices were the basis of major lawsuits. It was alleged that numerous patients suffered harm after the mesh was implanted during surgery. J&J contacted the FDA and explained it would stop offering the questionable products but asked for 120 days to complete the sales. It also announced it would adjust the labeling on its other two mesh products, Gynecare and Gynemesh so that risks were properly explained.

Further problems erupted as Johnson & Johnson recalled one of its Risperdal pills after testing turned up mold residue. This was after mounting questions about the drug’s safety. More than 200,000 bottles of infant Motrin were recalled as well. It was believed these bottles contained tiny plastic particles. These two recalls were announced close together and raised many eyebrows about the company’s quality control.

FDA Sanctions Against Johnson & Johnson

Due to numerous concerns of Johnson & Johnson’s morcellators, the FDA released a communication in April 2014. This warned about risks of liberating cancerous tumors during laporascopic surgeries. A boxed warning was also being considered. In the end, J&J recalled the devices.

In October 2008, the FDA began addressing the dangers of J&J’s transvaginal mesh products. It issued a public health notification that listed the risks linked to the items. In July 2011, this was revised to note the high potential for developing serious complications. More vigorous testing was issued as well. Eventually, Johnson & Johnson agreed to end sales of some vaginal mesh units and asked the FDA to waive its requirement for a multi-million dollar safety study.

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