J&J posts record sales for Q1

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Johnson & Johnson released its first quarter 2008 sales results and it showed that the company had record sales for the quarter of $16.2 billion. This was a 7.7 percent increase as compared to the first quarter of 2007. Net earnings for the quarter were $3.6 billion.

Sales growth reflects the strong performance of Remicade, a biologic approved for the treatment of a number of immune mediated inflammatory diseases, which increased by 12.7 percent; and Concerta, a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which increased by 12 percent.

Sales though were also negatively affected by the proton pump inhibitor Aciphex, which saw sales decline by 27 percent, the pain patch Duragesic which fell by 35.3 percent, and the anemia drug Procrit, which fell by 37 percent.

Also during the quarter, the company announced that it received an approvable letter from the Food and Drug Administration regarding its application for ceftobiprole for the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections, including diabetic foot infections, as well as submitting an application to the FDA for tapentadol hydrochloride immediate release tablets, an investigational oral analgesic for the relief of moderate to severe acute pain.

"We achieved solid earnings in the first quarter which reflects our continued focus on profitable growth for Johnson & Johnson," said William Weldon, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our strategy of being broadly based remains one of the keys to our consistent long-term performance."

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