May 21, 2020

Around the nation: Johnson & Johnson will halt US sales of talc-based powders

Daily Briefing

    Johnson & Johnson's announcement comes as the company faces around 19,400 lawsuits alleging that its talcum-based powders caused users to develop lung, ovarian, and other cancers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Utah.

    • Arizona/New Mexico/Utah: The Navajo Nation, which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, as of Tuesday reported 4,071 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and 142 deaths tied to the virus, meaning the population has the highest rate of coronavirus infections per capita in the United States. The new coronavirus has affected 2.3% of the Navajo Nation population, which is higher than the 1.8% rate in New York (Sternlicht, Forbes, 5/19; Silverman et al., CNN, 5/18).

    • Georgia: CDC on Tuesday published an indefinite extension of a public health order that allows the federal government to block any migrants from crossing the border into the United States without taking them into custody or providing them with access to asylum. The order now will remain in place until the federal government determines that the new coronavirus is no longer a public danger (Hackman/Restuccia, Wall Street Journal, 5/19).

    • New Jersey: Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on Tuesday announced it will halt all sales of its talcum-based powders in the United States and Canada. The announcement comes as the company faces around 19,400 lawsuits alleging the talcum-based powders caused users to develop lung, ovarian, and other cancers. J&J said it will allow retailers to sell all current inventories of the products, and the company will continue to sell powders made with cornstarch in North America (Hsu/Rabin, New York Times, 5/19; Johnson, Associated Press, 5/20; Loftus, Wall Street Journal, 5/19).

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