J&J to restructure orthopedic business after medical device sales miss

Johnson & Johnson, a renowned healthcare conglomerate, recently announced a significant restructuring of its orthopedics business. This decision comes in the wake of the company’s third-quarter medical devices sales not meeting Wall Street’s expectations. The restructuring signifies J&J’s strategic shift, especially after the spin-off of its consumer health unit.

J&J’s Restructuring and Future Goals

Johnson & Johnson has initiated a two-year restructuring program specifically for its orthopedics business. The company has plans to exit certain markets and discontinue the sale of some orthopedic products. This restructuring is a part of J&J’s broader strategy to narrow its focus, especially after spinning off its consumer health unit. The company’s pharmaceutical unit is expected to face increased pressure, with a target to achieve $57 billion in drug sales by 2025. This ambitious goal will be challenged by the introduction of biosimilar versions of its blockbuster psoriasis treatment, Stelara, in the same year.

Financial Highlights and Earnings

Despite the challenges, J&J has raised its annual profit forecast, attributing this positive outlook to robust sales from its pharmaceutical business. The company’s stock saw a slight dip of about 1%. Analysts believe that the underperformance of the medical devices unit might be influencing the stock’s movement. Excluding its consumer health unit, J&J’s adjusted profit expectations for 2023 range between $10.07 to $10.13 per share, a slight increase from the previous forecast. The third quarter also saw J&J gain a whopping $21 billion from the consumer health spin-off.

Pharmaceutical Business Performance

J&J’s pharmaceutical business has been a significant contributor to its earnings, with quarterly sales reported at $13.89 billion. Stelara alone contributed more than 20% to this figure, amounting to $2.86 billion, surpassing analysts’ estimates. The company has strategically delayed the market entry of Stelara biosimilar competitors until 2025, ensuring the drug continues to be a major revenue source. However, European sales of Stelara might see a decline from next year due to the expiration of a key patent.

Medical Device Unit and Future Prospects

The sales of J&J’s medical device unit were reported at $7.46 billion, slightly below Wall Street’s estimates. The orthopedic business constituted about 29% of the medical devices sales in the third quarter. Interestingly, the company observed a reduced demand for devices used in abdomen surgeries, such as bariatric surgery. This reduction is attributed to the rising popularity of new weight-loss drugs. However, J&J anticipates that the use of these drugs might eventually lead patients to opt for other procedures using J&J products in the future.


Johnson & Johnson’s decision to restructure its orthopedic business is a testament to the company’s adaptability and forward-thinking approach. While challenges lie ahead, especially with the anticipated competition in the pharmaceutical sector, J&J’s strategic moves and robust earnings indicate a promising future for the healthcare giant.