HEALTH

Matthew Poli joins The Emerson Group

BY Michael Johnsen

WAYNE, Pa. The Emerson Group on Thursday announced the addition of Matthew Poli to the company, effective Sept. 20. Poli’s responsibilities will include client business development, brand management and marketing. He will work out of Emerson’s Wayne, Pa., office and will report to Rick Wellinger, Emerson president.

Poli comes to Emerson with more than 16 years of experience in marketing, sales management, trade marketing and account development — all within Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. Most recently, Poli servied as senior brand manager of children’s Tylenol and children’s Motrin. In this P&L role, Poli was responsible for growing brand equity and market share, consumer communications and innovation pipeline development, Emerson noted.

In previous marketing roles, Poli developed the strategy extending Tylenol into the external pain-relief market, ultimately leading to the launch of Precise external pain relievers. Poli also launched Tylenol PM rapid-release gels in 2008.

“We are very excited about Matthew’s role in helping us achieve our goals we have established with our business partners,” Welllinger stated. “Please join me in welcoming Matthew, his wife Beth Ann and daughter Chelsea to The Emerson Group.”

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HEALTH

House committee to hold hearing over J&J recall

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Ed Towns, D-N.Y., on Thursday announced that the committee will hold a hearing Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. to examine the circumstances surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s recall of more than 135 million bottles of infant and children’s medicines produced by Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Consumer Healthcare, including children’s Tylenol, infant’s Tylenol, children’s Motrin and children’s Benadryl.

 

The hearing also will examine the circumstances surrounding a “phantom recall” of a particular Motrin product, which became public as a result of the committee’s hearing on May 27.

 

 

“This is about the safety of trusted medication that our children and grandchildren use,” Towns stated. “The evidence we have uncovered since our first hearing is extremely troubling.” 

 

 

Witnesses invited to testify include Bill Weldon, J&J chairman and CEO, and Colleen Goggins, J&J worldwide chairman, consumer group.

 

 

The hearing will be webcast on the committee’s website, Oversight.house.gov. 

 

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Forest Pharmaceuticals pays $313 million in settlement deal

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Drug maker Forest Pharmaceuticals will pay more than $300 million to the federal government as part of a plea agreement over alleged improper drug distribution and obstructing a Food and Drug Administration inspection.

The FDA said Wednesday that Forest Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of New York-based Forest Labs, had entered a plea agreement whereby it would accept criminal responsibility for distribution of an unapproved drug, distribution of a misbranded drug and obstruction of an FDA inspection. The total payment of $313 million includes $164 million in criminal penalties.

One charge centered around the marketing of Levothroid (levothyroxine sodium), an unapproved drug used to treat hypothyroidism. A 1997 Federal Register notice announced that Levothroid is a “new drug,” and that manufacturers who wish to continue marketing it would have to obtain approval from the FDA by August 2000.

 

The company also is charged with alleged off-label promotion of the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram) for use in children; the drug is only approved for use in adults. The charge of obstructing an FDA inspection relates to an alleged 2003 incident in which Forest employees made false statements to the agency.

 

 

“We are pleased to bring closure to this long-running investigation,” Forest chairman and CEO Howard Solomon said. “We remain dedicated to ensuring that we operate in full compliance with all laws and regulations and that our employees uphold the highest principles of integrity, honesty and ethics.”

 

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