Friday, September 5, 2014

Johnson & Johnson speech- April 25, 2013

On April 25, 2013, I attended the Johnson & Johnson shareholder meeting at the Hyatt in New Brunswick with John Fratti. This was my speech:

As President of, and a victim of fluoroquinolones, I speak not only for myself, but as best I can on behalf of all those and their families whose lives have been damaged physically, financially, and emotionally by fluoroquinolones.

Since 2006, I have suffered chronic pain, eight tendon ruptures which resulted in painful surgeries, nerve damage, and a host of other debilitating symptoms, as a result of these dangerous drugs. There is a large percentage of people just like me who suffer even more than myself, with some resulting in death.

You told me you would speak to me at last years meeting, but you did not come talk to me. Though I am sure you have a different schedule, as CEO, you owe it to the victims of these drugs, as well as to the Johnson & Johnson shareholders and employees concerned about the company's reputation and future success, to take the lead, and make doing the right thing a priority.

As you know, in 1982, Johnson & Johnson made the right choice to be up-front, honest, and proactive in dealing with the Tylenol-tampering crisis. Other companies are taking responsibility for what their products have done to patients. It is not only inconsistent and imprudent, but of course, immoral and unethical to ignore Johnson & Johnson's current crisis, and the effect these drugs have had on our lives, our families, and Johnson & Johnson's reputation.

Optimally, you should withdraw these dangerous drugs from the market until sufficient research can be done to determine their full effects on those who have taken them, and take concrete steps to make things right with the victims, medically and financially. At the very least, you should take concrete steps to fund research on these effects, and find safer alternatives.

I'd like to thank the shareholders and all others in attendance for listening, as well as all of those in the community for their hard work and support as we work together to help the victims of fluoroquinolones and their families, and take active steps to ensure safe alternatives for patient treatment.

Mr Gorsky, last year you chose not to speak to me after expressing in front of the shareholders that you would. Carry out that promise and personify your company credo and sit with me after the meeting to discuss how we can put patients first.

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