Johnson & Johnson has posted a solid set of figures for the third quarter, with sales of pharmaceuticals outside the USA making up for declines at home.

Group net earnings fell 6.3% to $3.20 billion, while turnover rose 6.8% to just over $16.00 billion. Worldwide pharmaceutical sales were up 8.9% to $5.98 billion, but they fell 6.1% in the USA, hurt by generic competition to key products.

The latter effect hit domestic sales of the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone), which only brought in $8 million across the pond but the total was up 5.8% to $128 million. The longer-acting form of the drug, Risperdal Consta, was up 3.2% to $390 million.

The epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate) was also hit by generics and brought in $117 million, down 7.9%, while J&J’s anaemia therapy Procrit/Eprex (epoetin alfa) fell 5.7% to $383 million. The antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) sank 91.3% to just $25 million, following the loss of marketing exclusivity in the USA in June.

On the positive side, J&J’s biggest seller was once again the anti-inflammatory Remicade (infliximab), sales of which were up 14.6% to $1.41 billion, while the latter’s follow-up Simponi (golimumab) brought in $129 million, up from $60 million in the like, year-earlier period.

Sales of Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma, was up 19.9% to $295 million, while the HIV therapy Prezista (darunavir) leapt 37.4% to $316 million. Turnover from Stelara (ustekinumab) for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis climbed 89.0% to $189 million and the schizophrenia drug Invega (paliperidone extended-release) saw sales rise 28.6% to $126 million.

J&J noted that sales at its medical devices and diagnostics unit reached $6.28 billion, a 6.1% increase. Turnover from its consumer division were up 4.9% to $3.74 billion, but US sales (down 4.5%) were hit by several recalls by its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit of over-the-counter products.