Schering-Plough, soon to be taken over by Merck & Co, has posted net income of $633 million for the second quarter, compared to $424 billion in the like-year period, though sales have again been badly hit by exchange rates.

Group turnover was down 6% to $4.65 billion, though would have risen 4% were it not for the effects of currency. Pharmaceutical revenues were down 3% to $3.59 billion, amid declining sales from its cholesterol joint venture with Merck, which includes Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe; see today’s Merck story).

The anti-inflammatory Remicade (infliximab), the Johnson & Johnson drug which S-P sells outside the USA, grew 2% to $565 million, hit by a 17% unfavorable foreign exchange impact, while sales of the anti-allergy medication Nasonex/Asmanex (mometasone) were up 3% at $321 million. The brain cancer drug Temodar (temozolomide) increased 2% to $256 million, though the hepatitis C treatment PegIntron (pegylated interferon) decreased 6% to $215 million. Revenues from the antihistamine Clarinex (desloratadine) fell 6% to $226 million, due mainly to the effects of currency.

As for products S-P got hold of through its $16 billion acquisition of Organon, unfavourable foreign exchange also impacted sales of Follistim/Puregon (follitropin beta), a fertility treatment, which fell 11% to $145 million, while the contraceptive Nuvaring contributed $129 million, up 11%.

Sales at S-P’s animal health sales totalled $677 million, down 17%, while consumer health care turnover slipped 5% to $381 million, due to lower sales of sun care products. Commenting on the quarter, chief executive Fred Hassan said that “our successful diversification strategy” has “given us the strength to again power through tough challenges”.

He added that “achieving operational growth on such a broad front in the midst of a severe global recession is no small feat”, and noted that S-P had a successful quarter on the regulatory front. Asmanex and Remeron (mirtazapine) for depression were approved in Japan earlier this month, bringing the number of new approvals in that country for S-P to eight since the beginning of 2007.

S-P and J&J also recently received a recommendation for approval in Europe for the arthritis drug Simponi (golimumab). However the latter and Remicade are the subject of an arbitration proceeding in the USA as to whether the merger with Merck means that J&J gains full rights to the drugs.