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J&J upbeat on drugs business

Johnson & Johnson detailed new medicines in immunology, neuroscience, cancer and other areas to analysts on Thursday as Wall Street counts on the company's pharmaceuticals business to help restore solid profit growth by next year.

The diversified health products maker outlined its plans to address five therapeutic areas in a daylong meeting for analysts to review its pharmaceutical operations.

“We are very optimistic about our future in pharmaceuticals,” Sheri McCoy, J&J's worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals, said in a statement as the company held the meeting in its hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

With its overall prescription drug sales now falling because of patent lapses, J&J has projected flat earnings this year - in contrast to the double-digit earnings growth it has consistently achieved in past years.

But Wall Street is optimistic that J&J's prescription drugs will again be an engine of revenue and earnings growth starting next year. (Reuters)