Johnson & Johnson has posted a reasonable set of figures for the second quarter, with pharmaceuticals helping to soften the impact of restructuring, recalls and litigation costs.

Group net earnings fell 19.5% to $2.78 billion, though the decline was mainly due to charges of $549 million related to the restructuring of its Cordis Corp unit and $223 million for legal costs. Turnover rose 8.3% to $16.60 billion, while worldwide pharmaceutical sales were up 12.2% to $6.23 billion, despite generic competition to key products.

The latter effect hit US sales of the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone), which only brought in $11 million but the total was up 18.8% to $139 million. The longer-acting form of the drug, Risperdal Consta, was up 13.8% to $404 million.

The epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate) was also hit by generics and brought in $121 million, down 14.8%, while J&J’s anaemia therapy Procrit/Eprex (epoetin alfa) fell 9.7% to $475 million. The antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) sank 47.0% to $159 million, due to "slowing sales ahead of 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 21.3% to $1.37 billion, while the latter’s follow-up Simponi (golimumab) brought in $67 million, up from $59 million in the like, year-earlier period.

Sales of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder therapy Concerta (methylphenidate) increased 8.0% to $349 million, while Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma, was up 21.3% to $347 million.

As for newer drugs, sales of the new HIV therapy Prezista (darunavir) leapt 53.4% to $313 million, Stelara (ustekinumab) for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis more than doubled to $176 million and the schizophrenia drug Invega (paliperidone extended-release) saw sales rise 25.5% to $128 million.

J&J noted that sales at its medical devices and diagnostics unit reached $6.57 billion, a 7.2% increase. Turnover from its consumer division were up 4.0% to $3.79 billion, but US sales (down 8.5%) were hit by several recalls by its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit of over-the-counter products.