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Johnson and Johnson Talks With Synthes–Both Companies Have Serious Product Recall History With No Solutions in Sight With

Posted Apr 18 2011 1:26pm

How does this work with such a large acquisition?  Where does this end up in court with legal battles from consumers on recalled products?  Sure there’s a lot of image products at stake here to combine for larger sales, but again what about the recalls and is this one dysfunctional buying another one in that respect?   Here’s a little history on the recalls of the vertebrae implant recalls.  I just hope if these two get together that they might find a better way to handle both device and drug recalls.  In November of 2009 the FDA released a Class 1 recall.  It’s not a happy picture for those who received the implants with failures and problems. 

Back in 2010 Synthes also recalled a number of Medullary Tubes in Canada as a safety concern with the potential breakage while in the canal.   Again when looking at what companies that make medical devices are doing to help consumers who live the implants are doing, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs as this is an extra investment that helps consumers but maybe not shareholders, you think? 

As the article states here the Smith and Nephew offer from J and J has been tabled and they are looking elsewhere.  Smith and Nephew from what is in the news has one of the best ratings with hip and knee implants, stating that theirs should last 30 years and of course we really won’t know how that pans out until patients have one for 30 years. 

FDA Gives 510K Clearance for a 30-year Knee Replacement From Smith and Nephew

Just my personal opinion, kick up the money and research for stem cells as the promise looks a lot better to regrow body parts where it can be done instead of having a device implanted, and devices will never go away entirely, and perhaps even stem cell and device combinations might appear on the landscape soon.

Future of Joint Replacements – Regenerative Medicine - Dr. Kevin Stone Regrows the Knee Instead of an Artificial Replacement (Video)

Back on the recall subject, here’s a couple comments from Twitter, Health IT guys who like it and see a real future with combining with RFID Tags too. 

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So again, if this acquisition were to take place, how about the Synthes legal cases that have been filed?  Who would settle those? We are also aware of the huge legal battles over “legally patented stents” but as consumers we just want something that will work and what we can afford. 

Where’s Some of the Focus for Johnson and Johnson Revenue Cycles – “Legally Patented Stent Wars”?

In the news the last couple of days there have been stories on how this acquisition would make the founder of Synthes about a billion and a half, so again you see where the news goes here with how much richer one man could be rather than a merger/acquisition that would benefit consumers. image

I had a doctor tell me he really likes using Tags as he uses them for information from his “Golf Magazine” and likes it, he thought too this was a grand idea for both devices and drugs.

Again, as you can see here it’s all about some big money that raises the discussions here and again with recalls, something that needs attention as if they grow big enough, they can also make or break a company too and that’s something I’m sure J and J is well aware of since they have somewhat earned the unofficial title of being recognized as number one in recalls. 

Dr. Hansjorg Wyss is the richest man in Switzerland and owns 40% of Synthes.  Synthes last year pleaded guilty to a felony and dozens of small crimes with unauthorized testing of bone cement and 3 patients died on the operating table and the Synthes subsidiary paid $24 million in fines with unauthorized clinical trials. 

So is this a business match made in heaven?  When patients die and again there’s no system for any type of recall notification other than the FDA postings on the web, this is sad.  It also sends a message too about the “concern” J and J has for consumers, not much as I have sent the suggestion about bar coding drugs and devices to them and nothing.  So go figure and you can see what this is all about, as J and J appears to have no concern with consumer confidence these day, but rather about rolling that money. 

When things go wrong, and everyone has problems, the view on what is said and done, and in this case nothing, can’t be ignored and consumers all across the US see it and again the biggest thrill we get here from the news is that is will make the richest man in Switzerland richer, no wonder consumers are not very fast to believe what comes out of corporate America today, it’s all smoke and mirrors and about making the rich a bit richer and driving more OMG stories to the newsimage

I can certainly add as a consumer over the last year, my confidence level with J and J is not what it used to be, and again with producing this blog I probably read and am exposed to more material than just the average consumer and let’s roll those business intelligence algorithms for profit as the first priority.  BD

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson's plan to buy Synthes for some $20 billion may mean more deals in the sector as rival medical technology firms try to bulk up in tough times, though antitrust issues are a hurdle.

A weak economy and high unemployment have hit sales of medical devices hard, since patients have to take time off and, in the United States, dig deep into their own pockets to help pay for procedures such as knee replacements.

As a result, more and more companies are looking at acquisitions as a way to add new avenues of growth.

"As we move into an era where significant M&A is important, this ups the ante for the rest of the industry," said Seymour Pierce analyst Mike Mitchell, as Synthes confirmed on Monday it was in talks with J&J.

Shares in Smith & Nephew, however, fell on news that J&J -- which people familiar with the situation said approached the British group in late 2010 -- was now looking elsewhere.

"There are relatively few people who could buy it (Synthes). Medtronic would have to divest the spine business, it would be an expensive and quite dilutive deal for either Zimmer or Stryker, and Smith & Nephew is too small," said Jack Scannell of Sanford Bernstein.


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