Johnson & Johnson, through their subsidiary Ethicon, Inc., has sold hundreds of thousands of surgical mesh devices implanted transvaginally to support prolapsed organs. Some of the most popular devices include the Gynecare TVT, Gynecare Secur, Gynecare Prosima, Gynecare Prolift and the Gynecare Prolift +M.
Johnson & Johnson, founded in 1886, is a multinational company. The corporation is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with 250 subsidiary companies with operations in over 57 countries and products sold in over 175 countries. Some of their most famous products include medications, first aid products, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceuticals. Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide sales were more than $65 billion in 2014. Some of their most common products include Band-Aids, Tylenol, Neutrogena skin care products, and Acuvue contact lenses.
The company currently divides its business into three segments: Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Diagnostics, and Consumer Products. The pharmaceutical segment focuses on Immunology, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease, and Oncology. Johnson & Johnson is comprised of various subsidiaries with the most important including Ethicon, which manufacturers medical devices, McNeil Laboratories, Inc., Cilag, and Janssen Pharmaceutica.
Today Johnson & Johnson continues to have strong sales, especially in the pharmaceutical business. Sales remain high due to Johnson & Johnson’s innovation, breadth and scale of their market leadership, iconic brands, and medical device business. Experts suggest the giant is poised to continue to deliver solid financial results while continuing to make investments to accelerate the company’s growth for the long-term.
Johnson & Johnson continues to offer a wide array of consumer products, prescriptions products, and medical devices. New products that the company has developed and moved to market in the last 18 months include new AVEENO Baby lotion and daily nourishing moisturizer, an AVEENO elasticity recharging system and hydrating body wash, pure renewal shampoo, Clean and Clear Morning Burst reviving cleanser, Neutrogena purifying facial cleaner, and Splenda Essential no calorie sweetner.
In 1886, Robert Wood Johnson, a New England druggist, joined forces with his brothers, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson, to convert an old former wallpaper factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey, into a factory to manufacture medical dressings. The need for sterilized dressings was on the rise due to studies by Joseph Lister who had discovered that airborne germs were a source of infection in operating rooms throughout the United States. With this discovery the Johnson brothers realized there was a ready market for their product. Not only was the danger of infection now well understood, hospitals were also eager to find a solution to reduce the death rate from infections following surgeries. Hence the birth of soft, absorbent, cotton-and-gauze dressings, which were followed later in 1921 with the Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages and Johnsons Baby Cream.
In recent years Johnson & Johnson has faced dozens of lawsuits from women who have suffered injury and complications from vaginal sling devices. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson announced they were voluntarily removing most of their vaginal sling devices from the market. The announcement follows a warning by the FDA that there can be “serious complications associated with transvaginal placement of surgical mesh in repair of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.”
Further updates have been made by the FDA about vaginal mesh implants. The FDA now believes that, “serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare…Furthermore, it is not clear that transvaginal POP repair with mesh is more effective than traditional non-mesh repair in all patients with POP and it may expose patients to greater risk.” Medical experts now believe that although the transvaginal mesh implantation may be beneficial for some women, it may not be as promising or as useful in all women, especially those who are young, athletic, and sexually active. The American Urogynecologic Association countered this notion by issuing their own statement. They believe that the transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse repair can be useful for some patients who are fully informed if the surgery is performed by doctors with adequate training. Other surgeons noted that they believed the FDA was “overstating the problem” with the vaginal mesh, and it remained a good tool for many patients.