Shares Of Johnson & Johnson Plummets Amidst Release Of Asbestos Report


Last Friday, Johnson & Johnson saw the share price of the company plunged by more than 10 percent after a report that was released by Reuters that claimed that the US pharmaceutical firm had been aware of asbestos tainting in its talcum powder products for decades.

The Reuters report comes as the firm is facing thousands of lawsuits, which claim that their products have caused cancer.

The reaction from the investors saw more than a 10 percent decline in the share price of the company at one point, making it the biggest loser on the Dow. It has since struggled to recover.

Reuters says that from its review of the documents, J&J was aware of the trace amounts of asbestos that are found in its products dating back to 1971.

The lawyers for the pharmaceutical giant stated: “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free.”

They added: “The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory. Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory.”

In an email, Attorney Peter Bicks informed Reuters: “The scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc.”

He added: “This is true even if – and it does not – Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc had ever contained minute, undetectable amounts of asbestos.”

The review of the documents that was conducted by Reuters was previously kept disclosed because of a court order. It revealed that the firm had sometimes discovered small amounts of asbestos in its raw talc and finished powders between the period of 1971 and the early 2000s.

Last July, J&J was ordered to pay £3.6 billion in damages to 22 women, after they claimed that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

It was the largest payout that the company has faced over the allegations, however, they are appealing the decision.