U.S. drug maker Johnson & Johnson announced Friday it will separate its consumer health business of over-the-counter, name brand drugs from its prescription drug and medical device business, creating two companies.
In a release posted to its website, the 135-year-old company said its new Consumer Health Company will be publicly traded and market such products as Band-Aids, Neutrogena skin cream, Tylenol pain reliever and Listerine mouthwash.
The company known as Johnson & Johnson will continue selling prescription drugs and medical devices. The company developed one of the three U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the cancer treatments Darzalex, Erleada, and Imbruvica, among other medications.
Johnson and Johnson said the split is likely to be completed over the next 19 to 24 months, if approved by the company board of directors.
In the release, the company said the split is the best way to serve consumers and patients as well as healthcare professionals. Rival U.S. drug maker Pfizer made a similar move when it and GlaxoSmithKline merged their consumer divisions, with plans to create a separate pharmaceutical company next year.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.