By LINDA A. JOHNSON
2014-04-25 03:01 AM
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Thursday that all three of its business segments are doing well and made significant medical advances last year.
Gorsky told about 1,650 shareholders at J&J's annual meeting that the company is poised to lead the health care industry, noting approvals and launches of several new prescription medicines and medical devices last year. Just Wednesday, the company got its latest prescription drug approved: Sylvant, for the rare blood disorder Castleman's disease.
Meanwhile, most of its recalled consumer health products, such as pain relievers Tylenol and Motrin and allergy pills Benadryl and Zyrtec, that are back in stores have regained the first or second position in their markets, said Sandra Peterson, head of the consumer products business. But about 25 percent of the products, many recalled for quality and safety deficiencies, won't be back on the market for 12 to 18 months, she said.
J&J also said it was raising its quarterly dividend for the 52nd straight year, to 70 cents from 66 cents per share.
The company said a preliminary count of shareholder votes showed investors overwhelmingly re-elected J&J's board members, but voted down a shareholder proposal requiring senior executives to retain until retirement a significant proportion of the J&J stock they receive as part of their compensation.
The meeting near the company's New Brunswick, New Jersey, headquarters drew a number of patients protesting J&J products they said had harmed them, particularly pelvic mesh implants. The sling-like mesh strips, used to lift sagging pelvic organs, have been linked to crippling pain, infections and other complications.
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