Johnson & Johnson to discontinue selling baby powder worldwide in 2023
12 August, 2022 | Pranay Lad
For over a decade, the health company Johnson & Johnson, has faced lawsuits accusing it of concealing cancer risks associated with its talc-based baby powder. As the litigation mounted, the bus...
For over a decade, the health company Johnson & Johnson, has faced lawsuits accusing it of concealing cancer risks associated with its talc-based baby powder. As the litigation mounted, the business decided to withdraw its vintage tac-based baby powder from the United States and Canada in 2020.
Following an examination of its portfolio, J&J said on Thursday that it has made the “commercial choice” to convert all of its baby powder products to utilise cornstarch instead of talcum powder. For over a decade, the health company has faced lawsuits accusing it of concealing cancer risks associated with its talc-based baby powder.
“We constantly analyse and optimise our portfolio to best position the firm for long-term success,” stated spokesperson Melissa Witt in an email. “Today’s decision is part of a global portfolio evaluation that took various aspects into account, including changes in demand for our goods across geographic regions and shifting consumer trends and tastes.”
Shares of the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based corporation increased less than 1% in after-hours trading and were down 2.3% year to date as of Thursday’s closing.
As J&J dealt with thousands of lawsuits charging the product of causing cancer in certain users, the firm removed its talc-based powders from the US and Canadian markets in May 2020, citing another “commercial decision” based on dwindling sales.
“After decades of marketing talc-based goods that the firm knew may cause devastating malignancies to unwary women and men all throughout the world,” Leigh O’Dell, a lawyer for former talc users, said in an emailed statement Thursday. “They ceased selling in North America almost two years ago.” The unjustifiable delay in taking this measure.”
As part of the unit’s bankruptcy, the firm deposited $2 billion into a trust to settle all current and future talc claims. A judge ruled in February that the action may proceed in order to obtain settlements, but his decision is being challenged.
Former talc users’ lawyers have questioned J&J’s decision to have the talc unit seek Chapter 11 protection in order to deal with the talc unit. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia will hear plaintiffs’ allegations on September 19 that the move amounted to a “bad faith” bankruptcy filing because the talc case did not imperil J&J’s financial status.
According to the company’s bankruptcy papers, J&J has been compelled to pay over $3.5 billion in settlements to address talc complaints. A 2018 jury ruling in St. Louis state court required J&J to pay $2.5 billion to 20 women who developed ovarian cancer after using their baby powder. The Missouri Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court both refused to reverse the decision.
Meanwhile, J&J intends to spin off its consumer health business into a separate company next year, which legal experts believe will help it isolate culpability if the Chapter 11 vehicle fails.