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

BY Michael Johnsen

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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Veterinary group predicts strong Lyme disease season this year

BY Alaric DeArment

BEL AIR, Md. — The risk of Lyme disease in dogs will be "extremely high" this year, an expert group has warned.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council, a group of veterinary parasitologists, made its prediction of the severity of the tick-borne illness based on a statistical analysis made in partnership with experts from Clemson University who also develop models for forecasting severe weather. The forecast included factors such as temperature, dew point, humidity, precipitation, elevation, forest cover, population density, reported human Lyme disease cases and car-related deer strikes.

"In addition to the Lyme disease forecast, our CAPC website offers predictions of other disease threats for pets such as heartworm, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis," CAPC executive director Chris Carpenter said. "While virtually all infestations of parasites are preventable, estimates indicate that fewer than half the dogs in this country are protected. Prevention is easy and relatively affordable compared to the cost and heartache of treating a sick pet."

The group recommends year-round parasite control medication for dogs and cats, which often requires a monthly application, as well as veterinary exams.

 

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Praim Group to distribute all-natural ‘Where’s Waldo?’ chocolate bars

BY Jason Owen

BOSTON — Praim Group, a food licensing, marketing and distribution company, today announced its agreement to create and distribute a line of all-natural chocolate bars featuring Where’s Waldo?

Praim Group will introduce four limited edition collectible designs that include two "everyday" and two "holiday" SKUs. All bars are milk chocolate, 3.5 ounces, kosher and all-natural. The MSRP is $1.99 to $2.49. The packaging will feature Where’s Waldo? scenes, including "Land of Waldos" and "Cake Factory," allowing consumers to enjoy their chocolate while also searching for Waldo. Consumers can log onto www.PraimGroup.com to find solutions to the limited edition collectible wrappers.

"These designs are fun and interactive, and children and adults will not only like the chocolate, but can play with the wrapper as well," said Paul Pruett , CEO of Praim Group. "Where’s Waldo? is the perfect complement to our product line, further positioning Praim Group as a one-stop shop for designer chocolate."

"What better way to celebrate Waldo’s 25th Anniversary than with chocolate?" said Karyn Schneider, vice president North American Licensing, DreamWorks Classics. "We are enormously pleased to partner with Praim Group, who has a proven record of expanding successful brands into the confections aisle."

First published in 1987, Where’s Waldo? is a global publishing phenomenon with more than 58 million books sold worldwide. The series is published in more than 38 countries and has been translated into more than 30 languages.


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