A history of Johnson & Johnson (2023)

US-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is by most standards the largest single pharmaceutical company in the world and is also arguably one of the most well-known drugmakers to the general public.

Both of these factors can be linked in part to J&J's strong presence in the consumer sector - but behind well-known products stands a strong pharmaceutical backbone that has developed over the company's long and varied history.

Johnson & Johnson was founded over 125 years ago in 1886. But it wasn't until 1959 - 73 years and two major acquisitions later - that J&J developed its significant presence in the pharmaceutical industry.

Where everything began

In 1886 three brothers - Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson - founded Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the United States. It is said that the Johnson brothers were inspired to start the company to develop a line of ready-to-use surgical dressings after hearing a speech by antiseptic advocate Joseph Lister in 1885. Robert Wood Johnson was the first president - the company was incorporated in 1887 and throughout the nineteenth century Robert worked to improve sanitation practices.

"J&J pioneered the first commercial first aid kits, which were originally designed to help railroad workers but soon became standard practice in treating injuries."

A year later, J&J pioneered the first commercial first aid kits, originally intended to help railroad workers but soon becoming standard practice in treating injuries. In 1894, J&J's long-established baby business began introducing maternity sets. These kits aimed to make childbirth safer for both mother and baby. Johnson's baby powder was also launched that year and was extremely successful. Robert Wood's granddaughter, Mary Lea, was the first baby to be used on the baby powder label.

Between 1896 and 1897, J&J enabled a major advance in women's health when it manufactured the first mass-produced sanitary protection products.

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When Robert Wood died in 1910, his brother James Wood became President before James' son Robert Wood Johnson II became President in 1932.

One of J&J's subsidiaries is Ethicon, a manufacturer of surgical sutures and wound closure devices. It was formed as a separate company in 1949 to expand and diversify J&J's product line. After World War II, Ethicon's market share of surgical sutures increased from 15% to 70% worldwide.

In 1959, J&J acquired McNeil Laboratories in the US and also Cilag Chemie, AG in Europe. These two acquisitions gave the company a significant presence in the pharmaceutical drug space for the first time. A McNeil product was the first prescription aspirin-free pain reliever Tylenol (acetaminophen) Elixir for children.

The entry of Janssen

In 1961 the Belgian Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. to the J&J family of companies. Its founder, Dr. Paul Janssen, is considered one of the most innovative and prolific pharmaceutical researchers of the 20th century.

Today, Janssen is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, marketing prescription medicines in the areas of gastroenterology, women's health, mental health, neurology and HIV/AIDS, to name a few.

"Dr. Paul Janssen is considered one of the most innovative and productive pharmaceutical researchers of the 20th century."

United under the common name J&J, Janssen is now divided into three different business areas – Janssen Research & Development, Janssen Healthcare Innovation and Janssen Diagnostics. Some of Janssen's best-known products include diarrhea treatment Immodium (loperamide), antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone), and Alzheimer's drug Reminyl (galantamine).

(Video) 130 years of history on display at Johnson & Johnson

Risperdal is well known due to the controversy in the US after its product launch in 1994. Multi-state juries found J&J guilty of withholding information about side effects of the antipsychotic drug. In 2012, J&J agreed to pay $181 million to 26 states to settle those claims — thoughanother lawsuitrelated to the drug (for $8 billion, eventually reduced to $6.8 billion) hit the company in 2019.

Litigation & Controversies

This isn't the only controversy J&J has had to deal with in recent years.

The company has also faced claims that it has failed to adequately communicate the risks of its opioid pain relievers in its marketing, contributing to the US "opioid epidemic".and that's itTalc products may contain small amounts of asbestosand lead to cancer.

The company has been hit with billions of dollars in lawsuits over these allegations.

J&J was bullish on both countsOf necessitythat the allegations are inflated or false and that it can handle the lawsuits easily, but the company has both won and lost existing cases, with many still engaged in appeals, and it remains to be seen how the balance ultimately unfolds becomes .

Acquisitions after Janssen

Between 1976 and 1989 James E. Burke was Chairman and CEO of J&J. During this time, J&J entered the fields of ophthalmology, mechanical wound closure and diabetes management. During this time, J&J also opened the first operating companies in China and Egypt.

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In the 1990's, Ethicon's Endo-Surgery pioneered minimally invasive surgery, which uses very small incisions and helps patients recover faster than traditional surgery.

The first coronary stent was developed by J&J in 1994 and was called the Palmaz-Schatz stent. This step revolutionized cardiology - coronary stents keep vessels open so that blood can flow to the heart. Later, another J&J company, Cordis Corporation, introduced the first drug-eluting stent, which helped prevent arteries from re-clogging. Founded in Miami in 1959, Cordis designs and manufactures medical devices to treat patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

A history of Johnson & Johnson (1)

Beginning in 2003, J&J was involved in a series of lawsuits with Boston Scientific involving patents for cardiac stent medical devices. Both parties claimed that the other infringed their patents. The litigation was settled in 2009 when Boston Scientific agreed to pay $716 million in September and an additional $1.73 billion the following February.

William C. Weldon became Chairman and CEO of J&J in 2002. Under his leadership, the company opened up new therapeutic areas. One of these new areas was HIV/AIDS, which was created through the acquisition of Tibotec-Virco BVBA to help address the huge unmet needs of patients with these diseases and other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.

In 2006, J&J acquired Pfizer Consumer Healthcare for $16.6 billion in cash. The acquisition included world-leading brands such as Listerine oral care products and the Nicorette line of smoking cessation treatments.

In 2017, J&J made its biggest acquisition deal to date after beating out competition from SanofiTakeover of the Swiss biotech company Actelionfor $30 billion. The company brought with it a family of drugs to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension -- established blockbuster Tracleer (bosentan) and only recently approved Opsumit (macitentan) and Uptravi (selexipag), as well as a number of pipeline products.

And at the end of 2020, a$6.5 billion dealBuying Momenta meant J&J added potential blockbuster nipocalimab for inflammatory diseases to Janssen's pipeline.

COVID and beyond

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J&J's size meant it had the resources to fight COVID-19 as the pandemic ravaged the world in 2020 and 2021, and the company soon began work on its own vaccine in partnership with the US government.

The vaccine has been approved by Pfizer and AstraZeneca and has shown less effectiveness in studies, but the company is hoping for an advantagesingle shotdosage, as opposed to the double-shot approach of many of its main competitors, as well as its comparatively easier storage.

As with most drug companies, J&Jblowby the COVID uncertainty in 2020, the effects of which will be felt for years to come.

The company has many interesting drugs in its pipeline, including a CAR-T therapy it developed in partnership with Legend Biotech. But like many of its big pharma rivals, it's facing increased pressure on some of its biggest brands as patent expirations pave the way for generic-drug competitionBiosimilarsundercut sales of biologics.

Products whose sales have fallen sharply include prostate cancer drug Zytiga and anti-inflammatory drug Remicade.

But ultimately, those dips will likely just be blips on the radar for J&J. It still holds the position of the world's largest pharmaceutical company by revenue by a wide margin, and that's not likely to change any time soon.

For all newsPharma Newsfor Johnson & Johnson follow the PharmaphorumandJanssenkeywords.


What is the history of Johnson and Johnson? ›

They were brothers Robert, James and Edward Mead Johnson, and in 1886, they brought together their respective talents to found a small family company that bore their surname. That company, of course, was Johnson & Johnson. When the trio launched their fledgling company, they had one building and just 14 employees.

How did Johnson and Johnson get started? ›

What is Johnson and Johnson best known for? ›

Known for developing medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods, J&J is home to well-known products including Band-Aid bandages, Tylenol pain medications, Neutrogena skin and body products, and Acuvue contact lenses.

Where did Johnson and Johnson start? ›

In 1886, three brothers – Robert Wood Johnson, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson – founded Johnson & Johnson, in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the United States.

Does Johnson & Johnson own Pfizer? ›

Johnson & Johnson Completes Acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare | Johnson & Johnson.

Why did Johnson and Johnson split into two? ›

J&J announced in November that it is planning to split into two publicly traded companies: one focusing on consumer health, and the other housing its prescription-drug and medical-device businesses. (“Pharma remains J&J's strongest segment,” Raymond James analyst Jayson Bedford told investors in November.)

Why did they stop giving Johnson and Johnson vaccine? ›

Now, the FDA has stepped in, restricting the use of the J&J shot because of the threat of rare but serious blood clots.

How did Johnson and Johnson became successful? ›

Johnson & Johnson began as a startup. Its founders were visionaries who foresaw an emerging market for sterile surgical products. Through ingenuity and passion inside the factory and beyond, the brothers grew a company of 14 into a global corporation.

Who is Johnson and Johnson owned by? ›

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Institutional investors hold a majority ownership of JNJ through the 70.54% of the outstanding shares that they control. This interest is also higher than at almost any other company in the Pharmaceuticals: Major industry.

What is J&J's best selling product? ›

The most popular consumer brands include Band-Aids, Tylenol and Johnson's Baby Powder. Still, the bulk of J&J's revenue comes from prescription drugs and medical devices.

Is the J&J vaccine any good? ›

Another report, a real-world study from the CDC conducted from March through August, showed the J&J single shot to be only 71% effective against hospitalization from COVID-19 in U.S. adults without immunocompromising conditions, compared to 93% for Moderna and 88% for Pfizer.

What makes Johnson and Johnson different from other vaccines? ›

How does it work? Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use messenger RNA (mRNA) to help the body build its defenses against the virus. Instead, it is an andenovector vaccine.

Does Johnson and Johnson own Tylenol? ›

TYLENOL®, 1959. Through the company's acquisition of the McNeil Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson added the TYLENOL® brand to its list of products. The medication's active ingredient, acetaminophen, was both a pain reliever and fever reducer. As a safe alternative to aspirin, its popularity grew.

Is Johnson and Johnson a good company? ›

Johnson & Johnson is and has always been a highly recognized brand in the medical industry. It's a great place to get started in the healthcare industry to either stay and advance or use it as a stepping stone to higher-paying jobs.

What is the full meaning of Johnson? ›

Johnson is an English patronymic name meaning "son of John (gift of God)." The name John derives from the Latin Johannes, which is derived from the Hebrew Yohanan meaning "Jehovah has favored."

Which is safer Johnson and Johnson vaccine or Pfizer? ›

Due to potential blood clots following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC updated its recommendations in December 2021. The CDC noted that the two mRNA vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, are preferred over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Who is Johnson and Johnson biggest competitor? ›

Johnson & Johnson competitors include Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Pfizer, Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

Who created Johnson and Johnson vaccine? ›

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., February 27, 2021 – Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to prevent ...

Why did Johnson and Johnson fall? ›

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) stock is slipping with the release of its third-quarter earnings report. That's despite earnings per share and revenue beating estimates. Instead, it looks like the company's 2022 guidance is to blame for the fall.

Why did Johnson put troops in Vietnam? ›

On August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing President Johnson to take any measures he believed were necessary to retaliate and to promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.

Why did Johnson escalate the conflict? ›

when the U.S. could have withdrawn from Vietnam.” Instead, Johnson escalated because he did not have a better alternative. By February 1965 the situation had morphed into perilous anarchy. Between the Diem coup and Johnson's escalation Saigon fell to seven different governmental factions.

What to do after Johnson and Johnson vaccine? ›

Call your health care provider if you have side effects that concern you or do not go away after a few days, or if the redness or soreness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours. Talk to your provider about taking an over-the- counter medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).

Is Moderna or Pfizer better? ›

Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.

Which COVID vaccine is better? ›

For those worried about the severity of side effects, Covaxin is the better option, as it has the least amount of fever, chills, and pain. Covaxin vaccination centers also allow you to get the second dose of the vaccine in just 4-6 weeks, a shorter time compared to Covishield.

What is unique about Johnson and Johnson? ›

Data is everywhere. There isn't a single sector or function at Johnson & Johnson that isn't using data science in some way – from research and development to supply chain, to finance and beyond. Our ability to generate insights from analyzing data is the engine that powers our innovation-based health care company.

What has Johnson and Johnson done for the world? ›

In 1918, for instance, Johnson & Johnson played a key role in helping prevent the spread of the Spanish Flu by introducing the epidemic mask, made from sterile gauze. And more recently, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson developed a vaccine to help prevent Ebola.

What was Johnson & Johnson's first product? ›

1886: Founding of Johnson & Johnson

Robert Wood Johnson joined his brothers, James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson, and created a line of ready-to-use sterile surgical dressings in 1886. They founded Johnson & Johnson in 1886 with 14 employees, eight women and six men.

Does Warren Buffett Own Johnson and Johnson? ›

Warren Buffett acquired 327 Thousand Johnson & Johnson shares worth $58.5 Million. That's 0.02% of their equity portfolio (40th largest holding). The first Johnson & Johnson trade was made in Q1 2006. Since then Warren Buffett bought shares twelve more times and sold shares on nine occasions.

Is Johnson & Johnson still family owned? ›

The company is owned by the Johnson family. H. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO since 2004, is the fifth generation of the Johnson family to lead the company.

How much are the Johnson family worth? ›

Fidelity Trading Boom Lifts Johnson Family Wealth to $48 Billion.

What is the highest selling drug in the world? ›


Is J&J the largest healthcare company? ›

That's why for more than 135 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world's largest and most broadly based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good.

Is Johnson & Johnson an ethical company? ›

To protect our people, our patients and our business, we take every reasonable measure to ensure that we all operate in accordance with ethical and compliance laws and standards. At Johnson & Johnson, we are committed to maintaining ethical and compliant conduct with the highest level of integrity.

Which vaccine is better after J&J? ›

If you are immunocompromised: If you got the single J&J shot, you should get a second shot from either Pfizer or Moderna at four weeks, and a booster two months later (Pfizer and Moderna are preferred in most situations).

Does the Johnson and Johnson vaccine need a booster? ›

People ages 5 years and older should receive one updated (bivalent) booster, including those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. People who did not receive Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, or Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, like people who were vaccinated abroad , have specific recommendations.

What are the advantages of the J&J vaccine? ›

After carefully reviewing the data, the CDC and FDA determined that the benefits of getting the J&J vaccine far outweigh potential risks. They estimated that every 10 million doses will prevent 600-1,400 deaths and 4,000-10,000 hospitalizations from COVID-19.

What did Johnson and Johnson do when they found out about the contaminated Tylenol? ›

They told consumers not to resume using the product until the extent of the tampering could be determined. Johnson & Johnson, along with stopping the production and advertising of Tylenol, withdraw all Tylenol capsules from the store shelves in Chicago and the surrounding area.

What drugs does Johnson and Johnson own? ›

Web Site Address
  • XARELTO® www.xarelto.com. ANTI-FUNGALS.
  • or Oral Solution. www.janssen.com/us. ...
  • SIRTURO® www.sirturo.com. ...
  • HALDOL® www.janssen.com/us. ...
  • INVEGA SUSTENNA® www.invegasustenna.com. ...
  • RISPERDAL® www.janssen.com/us. ...
  • SPRAVATO™ www.janssen.com/us.

Why was Tylenol taken off the market? ›

Oct. 5 (UPI) -- In 1982, cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules killed seven people in the Chicago area -- an unprecedented and unsolved public health scare that led to major industry changes and one of the first massive product recalls in the United States exactly 35 years ago Thursday. The deaths began on Sept.

Is J&J a black owned company? ›

The company was bought by Procter & Gamble in 2004 and its products were marketed as part of the P&G portfolio. In March 2009, a consortium of African-American investment firms bought the company from P&G to reestablish its position as an African-American-owned company.

How does Johnson and Johnson treat their employees? ›

Johnson and Johnson offer the best pay and benefits in the industry. The company offers the highest level of pay along with the best benefits that an employee could ask for. This way the commitment of the employee is targeted and efforts are made to retain the best talent from the industry.

Where does Johnson and Johnson rank? ›

We are proud that Johnson & Johnson's actions to expand access to our medicines and focus on addressing diseases that disproportionately impact people in lower- and middle-income countries has made us the 2nd-ranked company globally in the 2022 Access to Medicine Index.

What ancestry is the name Johnson? ›

Johnson is a surname of Anglo-Norman origin meaning "Son of John". It is the second most common in the United States and 154th most common in the world. As a common family name in Scotland, Johnson is occasionally a variation of Johnston, a habitational name.

Is Johnson Scottish or Irish? ›

Johnston and Johnstone are found in Scotland and Ireland. These names frequently became Johnson in America, as did like names from Scandinavia. History of the Johnston(e) Clan.

Is Johnson a Viking last name? ›

Their findings reveal that common surnames such as 'Henderson', 'Johnson' and 'Hobson' are all big indicators of Viking ancestry. Names which refer to a personal characteristic, such as 'Long', 'Short' and 'Good' also make it more likely that you have the blood of a Nordic warrior flowing through your veins.

What is the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine based on? ›

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use messenger RNA (mRNA) to help the body build its defenses against the virus. Instead, it is an andenovector vaccine.

Who made Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine? ›

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., February 27, 2021 – Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to prevent ...

Is Johnson and Johnson vaccine safe? ›

On April 24, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup concluded the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective and recommended resuming use of the vaccine for all eligible Californians.

Is there a spike protein in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine? ›

The J&J vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus vector engineered to carry the “genetic code” for the surface spike protein. Once the adenovirus enters cells, they use that code to make spike proteins.

How does the Johnson and Johnson vaccine work in the body? ›

Your body makes the spike protein but does not make the virus itself. The proteins that are produced trigger your body to make antibodies. If the virus that causes COVID-19 enters your body, the antibodies will recognize and fight the virus, protecting you from getting sick.

How much has Johnson and Johnson made from the Covid vaccine? ›

J&J's COVID vaccine sales for the first quarter were $457 million, far off from Wall Street's estimate of $785 million.

Who owns Johnson and Johnson Janssen? ›

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Beerse, Belgium, and wholly-owned by Johnson & Johnson. It was founded in 1953 by Paul Janssen.

How long after J&J vaccine are you fully vaccinated? ›

You are considered “fully vaccinated” 2 weeks after finishing your primary series (2 weeks after getting your one dose of the J&J vaccine or 2 weeks after the second dose of the Moderna, Pfizer, or Novavax vaccines).

Who owns Johnson and Johnson today? ›

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Institutional investors hold a majority ownership of JNJ through the 70.53% of the outstanding shares that they control. This interest is also higher than at almost any other company in the Pharmaceuticals: Major industry.


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