According to the news source, Harrington Investments asked the company's management in a shareholder's proposal to describe new initiatives it will institute to address the health and financial concerns of patients harmed by the drug.
New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson faces tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by individuals who claim they were injured by the drug. The drugmaker has strengthened warnings about Levaquin's dangers multiple times since the medication gained approval in 1996.
According to the news source, despite the warnings, the drug has continued to be one of the company's highest-selling medicines. In 2010, it generated $1.5 billion in sales for the drugmaker.
The proposal by Harrington Investments is a tactic by the firm to raise questions regarding the company's decisions as well as its responsibility to the individuals who took the drug.
According to the news source, Jack Ucciferri, the director of research for the investment firm, said the extent of the litigation was one of the main reasons that he decided to submit the shareholder's proposal.
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A spokesman for the drugmaker said the company has formally asked regulators with the Securities and Exchange Commission to disqualify the proposal from Harrington Investments. He noted that Johnson & Johnson has addressed the safety issues related to Levaquin with warnings on the medication, according to the news source.
Using levofloxacin injection, sold under the brand name Levaquin, increases the risk of an individual developing tendinitis, or rupturing their tendon during treatment or up to several months afterward, according to the National Library of Medicine.