Product News and Recalls

Problems drag down J&J profits for quarter

Johnson & Johnson, the worlds’ largest maker of health care products, has announced that its first-quarter profits were down, but that its earnings nevertheless beat analysts’ estimates.

According to a story in The Star Ledger out of Newark, sales for the quarter rose to $17.5 billion, an increase of 8.5 percent from a year earlier, compared to the $17.46 billion that analysts were predicting.

The story notes that a long-running string of recalls and manufacturing problems stretching back to 2009 cut into the company’s profits.

And two of those manufacturing problems led to expensive legal defeats for the company recently.

A jury awarded $11.1 million to a woman injured by a vaginal mesh implant that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division manufactured. That case represented the first of more than 11,000 lawsuits regarding the devices to go to trial, filed by women complaining of health problems that include infection, organ perforation and chronic pain.

In a separate case, another jury awarded $8.3 million to a man injured by an ASR hip implant, which Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary manufactured. A number of studies show nearly half of the implants break down and need replacement within six years, as well as having a tendency to shed toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.

But The Star Ledger reports that the those losses have been offset by strong sales of over-the-counter medicines, along with new prescription drugs and the acquisition of medical device company Synthes.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a Johnson & Johnson product. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip or transvaginal mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

See the story here:

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/04/johnson_johnson_1st_quarter_sa.html