Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

JJ Under the Microscope

Company’s drug slows damage to joints, stent infringes patents.New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has been getting bouquets and brickbats all at the same time.
The company’s top-selling anti-inflammatory drug has been reported to slow damage to joints in patients who suffer from psoriatic arthritis and to relieve some secondary symptoms of the disease.
The findings come from two different studies on Remicade, Johnson & Johnson’s No. 3 drug in sales last year. Remicade is marketed as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and inflammation of the spine.
In May the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved the drug as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis, a disease that causes painful inflammation of joints accompanied by red, scaly skin rashes.
On the flip side for J&J, a Dutch court ruled that the company’s stent infringes another company’s patents. Just days before Boston Scientific and J&J head into a federal court in Delaware for a crucial round in their patent battle for control of the multibillion-dollar domestic stent market, Boston Scientific won a legal skirmish in the Netherlands.
J&J subsidiary Cordis reportedly could be forced to end production of its Cypher stents in the Netherlands and to halt sales of the devices there. The court ruled that the catheter system used to place the Cypher stent into coronary arteries infringes on patents owned by Boston Scientific.
In other negative news, last week McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals, another J&J company, said it was recalling all varieties of 80-mg Children’s Tylenol Meltaways packaged in bottles and blister packs, 80-mg Children’s Tylenol SoftChews packaged in blister packs and 160-mg Junior Tylenol Meltaways packaged in blister packs.
The 80-mg products are being recalled over concerns that blister packs with two pills in each compartment might lead some users to conclude that the two tablets totaled 80 milligrams of acetaminophen; each tablet contains 80 mg.
As for bottled products and the 160-mg product, the company said that labeling on the front panel could cause confusion over proper dosages.
At the close of trading, J&J shares were down $0.23 to $66.50.

NJBIZ Business Events