Johnson & Johnson researchers working on a vaccine against the coronavirus are “just like the heroes in the hospitals” fighting to save patients, J&J CEO Alex Gorsky said on the “Today” show a few weeks ago.
It’s a message he likes to deliver. In recent weeks, Gorsky has talked about J&J’s efforts on NBC’s “Today” and twice on CNBC and Fox. Nobody asked him about high drug prices, J&J’s role in the opioid crisis or lawsuits alleging its baby powder caused cancer.
J&J and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry have seized on the coronavirus crisis as a way to polish an image tarnished by unaffordable medicine, patent lawsuits and an addiction epidemic.
The potential payoff is clear: If drug companies can produce a successful vaccine or therapy against the biggest infectious threat in a century, “maybe you can start to undo some of that reputational damage,” said Michael Kinch,