By Kevin Meyer
Yes, a major milestone. But one that is nearly impossible to comprehend. Forty.
J&J, the world’s largest health products company, has recalled more than 40 medicines this year amid complaints of contamination.
How can that happen? Bill described the ineptitude as "staggering" way back when the number was… ten.
And then there is the fumbing and bumbling at Johnson & Johnson. They are losing money at a staggering rate as a direct result of shoddy manufacturing. "In the consumer division, known for such iconic brands as Band-Aids, No More Tears baby shampoo and Listerine, sales were down in every business segment except baby care. Over the past 13 months, the division has announced 10 product recalls involving tens of millions of bottles of Tylenol, Motrin and other nonprescription drugs.
You would think the financial wizards at the top would figure out that a manufacturing company has to be led by people who repect and understand manufacturing.
Makes sense to me. How else can you explain it? Keep in mind that these recalls are due to contamination, not formulation or effectiveness or other such design aspect. Clean manufacturing is basic manufacturing in the medical device world.
Typically those of us in the medical device world deal with contamination from esoteric sources such as pyrogens, a dust particle here and there, in the worst case maybe a microscopic spec of mold from an improperly-maintained air handling system. Not J&J…
Johnson & Johnson, buffeted by multiple recalls of over-the-counter products this year, said it was withdrawing Rolaids soft chews after consumers reported finding metal and wood particles in the products.
Metal? Wood? Seriously? Remember some of the other infamous J&J recalls? Yes, metal and wood.
What would most of us do after the first instance even prior to the first recall, if not on a regular basis even before the first instance? Walk around all the factories and look for sources of contamination.
But that would require thinking of factories as a source of value, not just a lowly cost center that somehow makes something that becomes part of the exalted "brand."
Maybe outsourcing really is the right choice for some narrow-minded companies that have no concept of what creates real value.