LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson developed a strategy in the 1970s to deal with a growing volume of research showing that talc miners had elevated rates of lung disease and cancer: Promote the positive, challenge the negative.
(Reuters) - Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell over 6 percent on Friday, on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than a decade, after Reuters reported that the pharma major knew that its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos. The decline in shares wiped off about $24 billion from the company’s market capitalization and made the stock the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indexes.
Darlene Coker knew she was dying. She just wanted to know why.
She knew that her cancer, mesothelioma, arose in the delicate membrane surrounding her lungs and other organs. She knew it was as rare as it was deadly, a signature of exposure to asbestos. And she knew it afflicted mostly men who inhaled asbestos dust in mines and industries such as shipbuilding that used the carcinogen before its risks were understood.