Cancer and psoriasis drugs aid Johnson and Johnson profits

Prescription drug sales up five per cent at healthcare manufacturer

Higher sales of Johnson and Johnson’s key medicines for cancer and immune disorders, together with an acquisition-related charge a year earlier, saw the company report a 23 per cent third-quarter profits increase.

The US multinational corporation, founded in 1886, also raised its profit forecast for the year.

The company’s prescription drugs business boosted sales by five per cent to $10.88 billion (£8.61bn, €9.89bn). Leading the pack are its cancer drugs, Darzalex and Imbruvica, plus those aimed at treating immune system disorders, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease; Simponi, Stelara and Tremfya.

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The growth is specifically driven by newer treatments such as Stelara – used to treat psoriasis, which experienced a near 30 per cent growth in sales to about $1.7bn (£1.34bn, €1.54bn) – and Imbruvica,used to treat certain cancers, up 31 per cent to $921m (£729.5m, €837.7m) in the quarter, reports Reuters.

It was mixed fortunes, however, at the world’s biggest manufacturer of health care products, explained Yahoo. Its consumer products business – which makes Johnson’s baby shampoo, skin care products Neutrogena and Aveeno and pain relievers Tylenol and Motrin – posted a 1.6 per cent increase in sales. While its medical devices and diagnostics division – at one time its biggest segment – saw sales drop by three per cent.

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