J-and-J report puts company’s quality standards into question

American consumer health care products and medical device giant Johnson & Johnson released its annual report to shareholders this week, but the report has critics wondering if the company is more focused on profits than the quality of its products.

J&J pulled in a whopping $13 billion in profits last year, but shelled out $751 million in taxpayer health care fraud claims; paid $70 million to settle foreign bribery charges; has been sued by consumers over its its allegedly defective metal-on-metal hip implant, and was forced to shut down a major facility that produces Tylenol and other popular brand name medicines because they did not meet FDA quality standards.

To make matters worse, J&J also faces the possibility of paying millions more to settle government claims that the company used questionable practices in the marketing of at least one of its drugs.

The laundry list of mistakes over the past few years only adds fuel to the lawsuits mounting against the company over its recalled DePuy ASR Acetabular Hip Replacement System and Resurfacing System. Made by J&J subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, the devices were recalled last year after numerous reports of earlier than expected failures. The devices were also shown to corrode inside the body and drop bits of metal debris into the blood, which may cause a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis. An estimated 93 million people worldwide are affected by the recall.

Despite the bad turns for J&J, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Weldon told shareholders last spring in the company’s annual report that the 125-year-old company is committed to restoring the quality of its products and winning back consumer confidence.

Source: USA Today