In marketing overhaul, J&J aims for integration

Johnson & Johnson is weighing a complete overhaul of its drug marketing. Now scattered among subsidiaries in consumer health and prescription drugs, J&J's commercial efforts will be streamlined and consolidated, so that some consumer drugs and prescription meds are promoted in concert, the Financial Times reports. In addition, J&J's multifarious drugmaking subsidiaries will start selling their meds under the same logo and the same brand name: Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

As Vice Chairman Sheri McCoy explained to the FT, the new approach is being tested with pilot projects that will market OTC and prescription products together. Skin cancer drugs will be presented alongside diagnostics and other skin products. Another will group marketing for consumer and prescription products related to surgical procedures.

In another joint project, J&J will attempt to leverage its longstanding reputation in baby products to help promote its child vaccines, McCoy said. It's a project prompted in part by J&J's acquisition of Crucell, the Dutch vaccines company. "As consumers become more engaged and mothers become more engaged," she told the FT, "we want to tap expertise and share talent."

McCoy was chosen last year to join Chairman and CEO William Weldon's (photo) top-tier team, along with fellow vice chairman Alex Gorsky. With that move, McCoy took responsibility for both consumer health and pharma. And as the company does some soul-searching in the wake of persistent quality problems and repeated drug recalls, especially in consumer health, it's rethinking its longtime strategy of decentralized control, FT notes. McCoy's choice to drop the brand names associated with several of her operating companies--Centocor and Cilag, for instance--is further evidence of that.

- read the FT story