Product News and Recalls

J&J hopes to overcome troubles from recalls

Investment Website Seeking Alpha says that healthcare products giant Johnson & Johnson is poised to announce its third-quarter earnings report. The company is hoping to break a streak of revenue declines over the last two quarters, as well as net income declines over the past four quarters.

The report says Wall Street has a mixed view on the advisability of investing in the company. Goldman Sachs, for example, recently downgraded the stock from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating, with a $72 price target.

Among investors’ concerns is the high number of product recalls in recent years, Seeking Alpha reports.

Since September 2009, Johnson & Johnson has recalled at least 30 products. Many of them still aren’t back on the shelves.

Among the recalls are the all-metal hip replacements manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Depuy Orthopaedics, which the company pulled from the market in 2010. Studies found that nearly half of the patients who received the implants, which had both a ball and socket coated in metal, needed to get them replaced within six years.

The DePuy hip implants were also prone to shedding toxic metal debris in patients’ soft tissues.

This year, Johnson & Johnson also recalled four different types of transvaginal mesh implants, used to treat urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The recall came in response to complaints that the devices caused severe pain and injuries for recipients.

In widespread lawsuits, lawyers for recipients of both devices claim the company was aware of the problems they caused, and tried to repress that information.

In addition, Seeking Alpha reports, the company farmed out cancer drug Doxil to a subcontractor only to have production shut down last November because of contamination and slack quality controls.

Because production of Doxil has yet to resume, Johnson & Johnson is losing out on a good deal of potential revenue. The company has also been forced to spend $1 billion to rebuild one manufacturing facility and upgrade another to head off further problems.

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

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