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J&J to Focus Beyond Traditional Lines of Business

Health care products maker Johnson & Johnson, faced with lagging sales of some top products, said Thursday it would create three new units to boost prospects.

Johnson & Johnson
AP
Johnson & Johnson

The company said it would create an office of strategy and growth to identify new opportunities. It recently reported a decline in profits and began cost-cutting measures.

Johnson & Johnson said it would form a new surgical care group to focus on technology and services to improve patient care and a new comprehensive care group aimed at treatments for chronic and pervasive conditions.

"We have the know-how across our pharmaceutical, biologics, devices, diagnostics and consumer businesses to bring completely new solutions to market," Chief Executive William Weldon said in a statement.

"And we believe we can accelerate growth through a dedicated focus on the intersection of our existing capabilities, customer needs and emerging trends."

The strategy and growth office will be led by Nicholas J. Valeriani, the current worldwide chairman of medical devices and diagnostics. The new office is to identify growth in areas that are not being pursued by J&J's existing businesses.

Sherilyn S. McCoy, group chairman for Ethicon, will be worldwide chairman of surgical care and will become a member of the company's executive committee.

Donald M. Casey Jr., group chairman for the diabetes franchise, will be worldwide chairman of the comprehensive care unit and become a member of the executive committee.

The company said its consumer businesses will not be directly affected by the changes, which take effect Jan. 1.

J&J also said that Joseph Scodari, worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals, plans to retire early next year.

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In October, the company reported a 8 percent drop in its third-quarter profit because of weak sales of its top-selling products, including the anemia drug Procrit and heart stents. The company has also been attempting to trim costs and in July said it would cut its global workforce by up to 4 percent, or by 4,820 jobs.

Also, sales of the drug-coated stent Cypher have been lagging because of safety concerns, while Procrit sales have fallen over Medicare and Medicaid program reimbursement cuts, initially sparked by safety concerns.

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