The company has withdrawn claims its Band-Aid products are “clinically proven” to heal wounds “two times faster” following a request to release clinical trial data
Dr Ken Harvey from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine recently noted that Johnson & Johnson Pacific’s Advanced Healing Band-Aids were being promoted as “clinically tested and proven to allow for faster healing of minor cuts and scrapes than using ordinary bandages”.
They were also being promoted in pharmacies and supermarkets as being proven to “heal cuts twice as fast”.
Concerned about the claims, Dr Harvey approached the company with a request for clinical trial data to substantiate them.
In a response to Dr Harvey, Johnson & Johnson Pacific argued that its “clinically proven” claims were supported with robustly designed clinical trials, but refused to release them on the grounds that they were commercial in confidence.
However the company conceded that since these clinical studies were unpublished, it would drop the claim in its point-of-sale materials and on its website.
Johnson & Johnson Pacific also said it stands by its position that evidence exists to support the claim that the Advanced Healing Band-Aids “heal two times faster”.
But it also conceded that this position is based on “an aging study”, and therefore made the decision to phase out this claim from all materials on which it appears also.
“We are actively working through the process of phasing out this claim… we will cease using this exact claim once the process of phasing out is complete,” said Johnson & Johnson Pacific’s director of regulatory affairs Andrew Harris.
“Convincing consumers to pay $8.39 for 10 Band-Aid Advanced Healing Dressings (84 cents each) for no extra benefit is a nice money-earner for Johnson & Johnson Pacific compared to consumers purchasing 40 Band-Aid Clear Strips for $4.99 (1.25 cents each),” Dr Harvey told AJP.
He also pointed out that the ARTG Public Summary for the Band-Aids states: “Helps cuts heal faster versus uncovered cuts”.
“I note that the response from Johnson & Johnson Pacific made no mention of correcting this misinformation. Regrettably, it is all too common to find claims made by sponsors on the ARTG Public Summary which cannot be substantiated,” said Dr Harvey.