Merck & Co’s earnings for the second quarter have been hit by costs relating to the acquisition of Schering-Plough and restructuring, but the latter’s contribution pushed sales up 92%.

Net income came in at $752.4 million, a decline of 52%, while revenues reached $11.35 billion. Merck’s best-selling treatment was once again the asthma/allergic rhinitis drug Singulair (montelukast), though revenues were flat at 10% to $1.26 billion, while revenues from the antihypertensives, Cozaar (losartan) and Hyzaar (losartan plus hydrochlorothiazide) slumped 46% to $485 million, due to losing marketing exclusivity in the USA and the major European markets.

Sales of the cholesterol drugs Vytorin (ezetimibe plus simvastatin) and Zetia (ezetimibe) reached $490 million and $564 million, up 1% and down 8% respectively. The diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) performed well, generating $600 million in the quarter, up 30%, while Janumet (sitagliptin plus metformin) brought in $218 million, a leap of 41%. Turnover from the HIV drug Isentress (raltegravir) reached $267 million, up 55%, though sales of the cervical cancer jab Gardasil fell 18% to $219 million.

As for S-P’s products, the anti-inflammatory Remicade (infliximab), the Johnson & Johnson drug which Merck sells outside the USA, contributed $669 million, up 18%, while the anti-allergy medication Nasonex/Asmanex (mometasone) brought in $338 million, an increase of 5%.

Sales of the brain cancer drug Temodar (temozolomide) reached $271 million (+6%), though the hepatitis C treatment PegIntron (pegylated interferon) fell 14% to $185 million. Fertility treatment Follistim/Puregon (follitropin beta) and the contraceptive Nuvaring had sales of $137 and $145 million, respectively, down 5% and up 12%.

Chief executive Richard Clark said the strong bottom-line performance “demonstrates Merck's continued success in executing our post-merger strategy”. Noting that “we're now halfway through our first full year as a combined company, already we're seeing positive signs of what can be achieved, despite patent expiries and a challenging economy”.