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Johnson & Johnson ETHICON*-Name Changes Done by Design to Distance From Crime?

Johnson & Johnson ETHICON*-Name Changes Done by Design to Distance From Crime?

GynecareUpdated and corrected*: 3.2.2014

Gynecare, a Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Women’s Health and Urology and (now part of  just Ethicon*) subsidiary has made negative headlines over the last few weeks for improperly destroying files about some vaginal-mesh implants for upcoming lawsuits.  If you’re confused on all the name changes within the Johnson & Johnson organization, you’re not alone and begs the question:  Are all the Johnson & Johnson name changes done by design to distance from crime?  

Earlier this week Johnson & Johnson held a company conference call announcing layoffs and changes.  Layoffs are certainly recognized as an unfortunate part of a tough economy or are bigger things at play?  Let’s look at reorganization. Last year (April 2013)* announced a rebranding or reorganization (it’s vague and inconsistent from the release and important for consumers to question why?) under the Ethicon heading.  According to the Harvard Business Review:

Reorganizations disrupt those relationships, hindering productivity until connections can be rebuilt within the new structure. Managers will continue to reorganize, since it is one of the one of the most available levers to solve problems. It also creates the appearance of decisive action and buys time until other actions can be taken.

The Harvard article continues that a company thinking about reorganization ask two questions:  what problem they are trying to solve and is reorganization the only solution?  A press release that isn’t really releasing information transparently should be looked at with caution by media and consumers alike.  There are usually a myriad of reasons that usually start with “We decided”…. but are vague and inconsistent in nature.

This next text is from a voluntary pull of KY-Jelly in March 2013 the language (or lack of ) positions in the opposite direction of voluntary with vague and inconsistent information.3


“As part of ongoing and detailed internal reviews we decided that these products may require submission of new data and application for a new medical device” approval, McNeil (A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) spokeswoman Samantha Lucas wrote in an email response to questions. “Because we decided against submitting new paperwork, we recalled the small amount of product that was still in the market.”


One other version (of KY-Jelly) previously was recalled, but McNeil is working on bringing that one back.


Johnson & Johnson decided not to fill out paperwork for one group of profit producing product yet are working to bring back other similar productWhich begs the question, why bring back some and not all?  Why not fill out the paperwork for the first grouping of products until the second is back?

It’s not very logical to allow a revenue stream to dry just because there may be some paperwork to fill out, does it? If they’re working to bring back the second product grouping which would logically include the filling out of paperwork why not just fill out the paperwork for first product?    Unless of course it really wasn’t their choice; and, perhaps the perception Johnson & Johnson wanted was that ‘they decided.’

Name Changes:

Gynecare/Ethicon Women’s Health & Urology/Ethicon (April 2013).  While Gynecare may remain in the news, slowly Ethicon will be searched more in SEO distancing Johnson & Johnson from the tarnished Gynecare name.  Rebranding much like reorganizing is usually only a last resort, as the purpose of marketing is to build a following around a brand, unless of course negativity follows the brand.   It will be interesting to see if any of Johnson & Johnson’s other companies, when found faced with negative press and fines, fold into the  Ethicon name or another division.  Is reorganization happening just for the purpose of changing a name to distance from crimes?  Let’s look at the list of characteristics below as it relates to Johnson & Johnson’s Gynecare:


Lack of Accountability 

Pathological Lying 


Unethical Behavior

Changes Name

The best indicator of the future is fact based evidence over time.  We’ll start to add more to this thread as we move on down the yellow brick road.  And here is just another quick example of a Johnson & Johnson name change as it was assoicated to negative press and criminal and civil fines.  Synthes fined and executives jailed lost government contract name changed to DePuy Synthes

One person may read this story and think it’s nothing more than a semantics and a name change and that it’s done all the time in business, to which I respond, yes it is.   Start to reference the characteristics, apply them to news stories or corporate press releases and recognize an emergent pattern (that were designed to go undetected.) As consumers, patients, employees and taxpayers we need to start removing from our purchasing power a company that is only accountable  when courts had to intervene to protect the people!


(3) http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html


*Additional information regarding Ethicon (under one name April 2013, and not as incorrectly written as Ethicon One)

1 Comment
  • toby

    Ethicon sucks

    February 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm

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