J&J chief: McNeil will work to reclaim marketshare this year

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson expects to return about 75% of its OTC brands to the marketplace over the course of 2013, Alex Gorsky, J&J chairman and CEO told analysts Tuesday. "I’m very pleased with the progress that we’re making in that," he said. "We mentioned to you that the consent decree that we had designed in conjunction with the FDA was approved and reviewed in October, with very few comments. And given the breadth and scale of that agreement, we felt very good about that. We’ve had teams working hard since then. We’ve achieved all of our major milestones since we’ve submitted that agreement."

Over the past six months, J&J's OTC division McNeil Consumer Health has been bringing brands like Children's Tylenol and Children's Motrin back to market. "If you look at some of the consumer ratings, the quality of those brands, we’ve seen them [as] remarkably resilient through this period," Gorsky said. "And when we get them back to the market, we see an uptake occur."

Leading the charge in managing McNeil's comeback is Sandy Peterson, who assumed her role last month. "[She] is focusing on returning our consumer segment to growth together with Jesse Wu, our worldwide chairman of the consumer group and his leadership team," Gorsky said. 

In addition to ensuring that there is adequate supply to feed the mass retail supply chain, McNeil in 2013 will begin to shift its focus on relaunching the brands "working with our trade partners, working with our great marketing teams, to reestablish those brands and their leadership positions in the market," Gorsky said. "And we’ll do that as the brands reenter over the course of 2013."

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