Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pharmalot: Moms and Docs Think Less of Johnson & Johnson

A new survey finds the health care giant’s reputation has declined 27 percent among mothers, 31 percent among pediatricians and 23 percent among general practitioners.

Once again, Ed Silverman in the September 29th edition of his Pharmalot blog, examines the repercussions to the reputation of industry giant J&J in the wake of their recent recall scandal.

Here are some of the highlights of the blog post:

• If anyone thought the very messy recall scandal would blow over and Johnson & Johnson would emerge unscathed, they may want to think again. A new survey finds the health care giant’s reputation has declined 27 percent among mothers, 31 percent among pediatricians and 23 percent among general practitioners.

• Looked at another way, all three groups rated its reputation as an 8 - on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 as horrible and 10 as perfect - before the recalls. Now, all three groups rate J&J between 5 and 6. The survey of 139 mothers and 50 physicians was conducted by CLSA analyst David Maris, who says that, since some moms will moms and docs have permanently changed their view of J&J, “this is serious.”

• On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = not serious at all and 10 = extremely serious, moms were asked how serious they believed the recalls were. The average rating was 7.3. Meanwhile, 72 percent of the moms said the recalls have not permanently changed their view of J&J, and 56 percent will continue to trust the J&J brand. But 28 percent say the recalls have permanently changed their opinion. Of pediatricians, 60 percent will not change their prescribing habits for J&J products, but 28 percent of pediatricians and 36 percent of GP's say the recall is a serious quality issue.

• 53 percent of the moms trust J&J the most when compared to store-brand products offered by Wal-Mart and CVS, but 29 percent thought J&J brands were no better or worse than those store brands. And 48 percent of the docs say they may prescribe or recommend more non-J&J products in the future given the recall. Such as? generic versions of ibuprofen, acetaminophen,
diphenhydramine, Merck/SGP’s OTC Claritin, and Pfizer’s Children’s Advil. A field day for J&J rivals, yes?

• The health care giant is under a microscope for allegedly trying to hide from the FDA and consumers that some products were tainted and the hearing will be the first time that Weldon has appeared in public this year to address the problem. Small wonder moms and docs react the way do.

• Here’s how one doc answered the survey: “Your products are still not available. You have made my job more difficult. Answering tons of calls regarding the lack of fever reducer for children - “what do we do now?” Use generics, they are just as good.” And another: “Not permanently damaged, but J&J will have to do major PR to earn back customer’s trust and confidence in their products. Have to remember target audience like moms who are scared to death to use J&J products on their beloved children.”

• “We think negative changes in corporate reputations are serious and the ramifications may be slow to become apparent,” he writes in a report. “Doctors and consumers think that there are more things J&J can do to rebuild trust and confidence, with open and direct communication being most highly cited. Time will tell whether J&J successfully rebuilds this confidence and whether there are any longer-term consequences for the recalls.”

Clearly the entire pharmaceutical supply chain needs to take lessons from J&J’s mis-steps. Quality control and protection from fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications are taking a serious toll on all of the members of the supply chain, not to mention most importantly the consumer.

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