Our Take: J&J to rename Janssen Pharmaceuticals as part of its branding update
With the Kenvue consumer health spinoff winding down, Johnson & Johnson is turning its focus to a rebranding effort, which includes a new logo for the company and a new name for its Janssen Pharmaceuticals business segment.
“Uniting our diverse businesses under an updated Johnson & Johnson brand reflects our unique ability to reimagine health care through transformative innovation, while staying true to Our Credo values and the level of care that patients and doctors expect of us,” CEO Joaquin Duato said in a press statement.
While the company’s medical device segment will keep the name it was given last year, Johnson & Johnson MedTech, the Janssen Pharmaceuticals segment will be renamed Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine so that it’s “more connected to” the J&J brand.
The company is also introducing a new logo. It’s still the Johnson & Johnson name, but instead of the familiar cursive font used since the company started selling its earliest products in 1887 (which, incidentally, resembled the signature of co-founder James Wood Johnson), the new logo features a modern font in a brighter shade of red.
The changes will be rolled out across the company’s product packaging, corporate materials, and branding assets over time.
Our Take: It’s always a risk when such a well-known company starts tinkering with its public identity, but in this case, Johnson & Johnson isn’t straying too far.
Even though the company’s original logo is one of the most recognized in the world, the updated logo is merely a more contemporary take. And, rebranding the Janssen segment to reflect the J&J name will only strengthen the J&J brand.
Frankly, it’s surprising that J&J kept the Janssen name as long as it did, though the decision to do so was, at least in part, most likely out of respect for the man behind the name.
In 1961, Johnson & Johnson bought a Belgian pharmaceutical research company founded by Dr. Paul Janssen and renamed it Janssen Pharmaceutica NV in 1964. J&J then folded several subsequent acquisitions into the Janssen business unit, including Centocor Biotech in 1999 (which later merged with Ortho Biotech and was eventually renamed Janssen Biotech), Crucell in 2011 (later renamed Janssen Vaccines), and Actelion in 2017.
This progression demonstrates J&J’s efforts to consolidate its pharmaceutical business under the Janssen name over the course of the last couple of decades. Shifting from Janssen to the Johnson & Johnson brand is the next logical step.
J&J isn’t the only prominent drug company to undergo identity changes in recent years. Some were relatively minor, like Bristol Myers Squibb eliminating the hyphen in its name in 2020 (though the company also redid its logo at the same time).
Pfizer launched a new logo as well, as a component of its rebranding campaign in 2021.
GSK made a bolder change in 2022, dropping GlaxoSmithKline as its official name in favor of the more widely used GSK. The company also redesigned its logo, giving it a more digital look.
And although Sanofi dropped the -Aventis part of its name back in 2011 after announcing plans to acquire Genzyme, it, too, undertook a rebranding initiative in 2022, unifying the Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi Genzyme business units under the single Sanofi name and introducing a new logo.
Will Johnson & Johnson eventually become officially just J&J? That’s unlikely — and probably a step too far.
Disclosure: Johnson & Johnson is a Darwin Research Group client.
Intermountain Health and UPMC will switch from Oracle’s Cerner to Epic for their electronic health records systemwide. Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health, which already uses Epic at SCL Health locations in Colorado and Montana, plans to transition to Epic across all of its hospitals and clinics in seven states by the end of 2025, Healthcare IT News reported. (Intermountain Health merged with SCL Health last year, extending its footprint into Colorado, Kansas, and Montana.) Intermountain Health selected Cerner as its EHR vendor in 2013, and the two organizations announced a multiyear expansion of their partnership in 2020. Regarding the switch to Epic, Intermountain Health said implementing a single, integrated EHR platform would result in significant cost savings over time. Pittsburgh-based UPMC currently uses Epic for its ambulatory providers and plans to transition its inpatient EHRs to a unified Epic platform by mid-2026, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare and Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System announced a year ago that they were switching from Cerner to Epic. Oracle acquired Cerner last year for $28 billion.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will partner with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to build a new free-standing inpatient cancer hospital in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston, the organizations announced Thursday. The hospital will provide medical oncology care for adults, operating under Dana-Farber’s license. Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, a physician group affiliated with BIDMC, will participate in the collaboration. While the organizations await regulatory approval and construction of the hospital, which is expected to take several years, they said Dana-Farber’s affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital for adult inpatient medical and surgical oncology care would continue, as would BIDMC’s independent oncology programs. Additional details of the collaboration are available on Dana-Farber’s website.
The announcement caught executives at Brigham and Women’s Hospital off guard, The Boston Globe reported. Brigham and Women’s Hospital began its clinical affiliation with Dana-Farber in 1997 and, according to the Globe, the two organizations had been in negotiations for more than a year to invest together in new cancer facilities and extend their current agreement, which expires in 2028.
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai received a $13 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop “better vaccines” against current and emerging coronaviruses, according to a news release. Professors from the New York City-based medical school and St. Louis-based Washington University School of Medicine will lead a multidisciplinary team of experts from five research institutes on the Programming Long-Lasting Immunity to Coronaviruses (PLUTO) project, with the goal of developing long-lasting, universal vaccines that protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other coronaviruses.
Walgreens is partnering with Pearl Health to expand value-based care through community-based primary care physician groups. Founded in 2020 and based in New York City, Pearl Health helps independent physician practices transition to value-based payment models. The provider enablement company operates in 29 states, working with physician groups to identify, through the use of data science, patients who need the most care and then making recommendations for improving care and lowering costs. That’s where Walgreens will come in, providing services such as prescription fulfillment, assistance with medication adherence, and diagnostic testing. Walgreens will also work with the physician groups to help their patients transition home after a hospital stay through CareCentrix, a post-acute and home care company Walgreens fully acquired earlier this year. Initially, Walgreens and Pearl Health will focus on PCP groups participating in the ACO REACH program, with the intent to expand their partnership to Medicare Advantage plans in 2025 and possibly other payers later on.
An estimated 67,000 Kaiser Permanente employees have voted to go on strike if the health system fails to negotiate a contract by the end of this month. Late last week, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West — the largest of 12 unions that make up the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions — voted to authorize a labor strike. Soon after, a vote by employees in Oregon and southwest Washington with SEIU Local 49 reflected approval of the strike. In a vote held a week earlier, employees in Colorado with SEIU Local 105 similarly voiced their approval of the strike. Collectively, the three unions represent roughly three-quarters of the entire coalition. Following additional bargaining sessions scheduled for this week, the remaining unions, representing approximately 13,000 additional workers, will vote on whether to strike. Kaiser Permanente expressed confidence in reaching an agreement before the national agreement expires on Sept. 30.
In separate news, approximately 1,100 employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan who are represented by the United Auto Workers union went on strike Wednesday. According to M Live, they are asking Blue Cross to eliminate its multi-tiered pay system, which requires 22 years of employment with the company before employees can reach the top of their pay scale. They also want the company to stop outsourcing and contracting jobs to out-of-state workers.
What we’re reading
Opportunities for Savings in Risk Arrangements for Oncologic Care. JAMA, 9.15.23
Three Outstanding Questions About CMS’s Ambitious New AHEAD Model. Health Affairs, 9.14.23
The Accelerated Approval Program for Cancer Drugs — Finding the Right Balance. NEJM, 9.14.23