Johnson & Johnson has revealed that it is cutting 900 jobs from its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen pharmaceuticals division in the USA.

The move, which will affect around 6% of J&J’s workforce, was revealed by spokeswoman Kara Russell. Speaking to a number of media outlets, she said that the job cuts will be seen across the organisation but will most come in its sales division and will include a mix of attrition and hiring freezes.

Ms Russell told Bloomberg that “the health-are environment is changing and it behoves us to look at what is valued in that environment”. She added that “it’s not simply about losing patents”, notably on the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) and the migraine drug Topamax (topiramate), “it’s really about how you are going to develop a model that adds value”, for doctors, patients, payers and policy makers.

Better news for J&J came with the news that Health Canada has granted approval of Simponi (golimumab), the firm’s monoclonal antibody which is partnered with Schering-Plough.

The regulators in Canada have given the green light to the once-monthly, subcutaneous therapy for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, active psoriatic arthritis and active ankylosing spondylitis. It is the first regulatory approval that has been granted for the drug.

The go-ahead for Simponi is based on data from five Phase III trials which found golimumab to be effective in reducing the signs and symptoms of RA, PsA and AS. S-P will start selling the drug in Canada in the second half of the year.

Simponi was filed with the US Food and Drug Administration in June last year and with European regulators four months before that.