US healthcare behemoth Johnson & Johnson has posted yet another solid set of results for the second quarter with sales rising to $12.8 billion, an increase of 11%, while net income grew almost 9% to $2.7 billion, or $0.89 per share. J&J noted that the latter included a $353 million charge in connection with its acquisitions of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals [[20/04/05b]], Closure Medical and TransForm Pharmaceuticals [[10/03/05g]], offset by a $225 million tax gain.

J&J’s global pharmaceutical revenues rose 4% to $5.6 billion, driven by strong sales of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade (infliximab), the epilepsy and migraine drug Topamax (topiramate), the Risperdal (risperidone) franchise for schizophrenia, the antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Concerta (methylphenidate) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the chronic pain patch Duragesic (fentanyl transdermal system) saw sales fall in the face of generic competition, notably from Mylan [[01/02/05f]].

More impressive was the performance of the company’s medical devices and diagnostics, up 20% to $4.9 billion but one black point for J&J was the news that its proposed $25.4 billion purchase of heart devices-maker Guidant Corp may be delayed after the latter firm was forced to recall some 100,000 of its defibrillators after two models were linked to a total of 43 failures and two deaths and the firm issued a second warning earlier this week [[26/05/05c]], [[21/06/05e]], [[20/07/05j]]. Guidant has lost $2 billion of its value since the news was announced and analysts believe that J&J may seek to renegotiate the deal.