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Johnson and Johnson Brand Drop Out of Role in Opioid Crisis



At the same time as her opioid drug suppliers, Johnson and Johnson's pharmaceutical subsidiary was promoting its own products in what is becoming a highly competitive drug market for painkillers. The company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, marketed Duragesic, a fentanyl-based patch, and Nucynta, a painkiller that sold in 2015.

Its marketing tactics followed a similar game to that of Purdue and other opioid manufacturers, which also they used, and also included, a so-called non-marital promotion that is not tied to specific products and encourages doctors to continue prescribing more opioids.

Like their competitors, Johnson and Johnson seek to convince physicians that the pain is under-treated by teaching salespeople to use "emotional selling" to dispel the idea that patients have been harmed by under-treatment. Another concept was "pseudoadjection" or the idea that if patients ask a doctor for higher doses, they are not necessarily addicted, but need more of the drug to treat their pain.

The company stated that it had acted appropriately and that, in the end, the drugs were prescribed only on the advice of a physician.

However, researchers have repeatedly found that drug marketing can influence physician behavior. "This type of marketing can tilt the balance," says Dr. Scott Hadland, an addictive specialist at the Greakeen Addiction Center at Boston Medical Center, who has examined the relationship between the medical industry's gifts for doctors and overdose deaths. Doctors “are people like everyone else and they are affected by marketing. "

Johnson and Johnson cultivate their reputation through decades of thoughtful communication and product management, said David Vinjamuri, a marketing consultant and professor who worked for the company in the 1990s. Doctors and hospital administrators were more likely to trust Johnson and Johnson than other pharmaceutical companies.

But in recent years, given its failures, "I now fear that the systematic competitive advantage that Johnson and Johnson have gained from their reputation is eroding," said Mr. Vinjamuri. "Capital is a tank that floats you until it's dry."


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