J&J chairman pledges to restore U.S. OTC business, outlines growth opportunities overseas

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky last week told shareholders that its consumer healthcare business would reclaim its prominence in the U.S. marketplace at the company's annual shareholder meeting. But OTC growth will be greatest outside of the United States.

J&J's consumer segment generages $14.4 billion in revenue worldwide for the company, accounting for 21% of J&J's revenue mix. "We are absolutely committed to returning our consumer business to growth, starting first by restoring a reliable supply of our McNeil over the counter products to the market," Gorsky said. "We are also going to make targeted investments in marketing and commercial support to ensure our brands regain leadership positions over time."

Gorsky noted that over the past year J&J has made significant progress in restoring reliable supply of key products such as Children's Tylenol and Children's Motrin.

But the most significant growth opportunities are overseas, including Russia and Asia. For example, J&J has invested in growing and expanding its consumer business with market-specific brands such as Dr. Mom, Hot and Cold products, which appeal to consumers in Russia. Across Asia, J&J launched a green tea Listerine tailored to local tastes. 

"We also had the introduction of Listerine Essential developed for emerging middle-class consumers in Latin America and other formulations designed to meet specific regional commands," Gorsky said. 

And J&J is committing R&D dollars overseas as well. "Nicorette QuickMist, which we sell outside the United States, is a great example of innovation fulfilling a critical need," he said (GlaxoSmithKline owns the rights to the Nicorette brand name in the U.S. market). "Worldwide, over 1 billion people still use tobacco, and, on average, every 6 seconds another person dies from the effects of smoking or second-hand smoke," he said. "What if there was a product to help people quit by satisfying their nicotine craving in just a single [puff] of mist?"




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