But top seller Remicade, an injected biologic drug for Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other immune disorders, saw sales decrease 6 percent to $1.7 billion. Near copy, or “biosimilar,” versions of Remicade have cut into its sales in Europe, where they’ve been available for much longer than in the U.S. Caruso said the launch late last year of Pfizer Inc.’s Inflectra, a biosimilar of Remicade, has had little impact on sales in the U.S. Doctors there are hesitant to prescribe biosimilars, which are relatively new to the U.S. market, for patients doing well on Remicade. The Tylenol maker’s consumer product sales rose 1 percent to $3.3 billion, while sales of medical devices and diagnostic equipment increased 3 percent to $6.3 billion. “The company performed mediocrely in two key areas pharmaceuticals and consumer products. It managed expenses well, but to continue to increase profits, it has to generate better sales increases,” Erik Gordon, a professor and pharmaceuticals analyst at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, wrote in an email. J&J reported spending in the quarter rose only a percent or two for manufacturing, marketing, administration and research and development. “We believe J&J has a solid new drug pipeline, which, along with the Actelion acquisition, should support long-term growth,” Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans, who has a “Buy” recommendation on J&J, wrote to investors. But she called the quarterly results “mixed,” with “disappointing” overall growth.
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Critics come from all sides too: they say the UBI is just a decoy to starve government assistance that boosts universal child care or free college tuition. Or its one more misguided program bound to result in eliminating work incentives, rendering large numbers of people dependent on the government. Most UBI skeptics, and some proponents, sooner or later come to the conclusion that the costs would be absurdly prohibitive in any case. One critic puts the figure in the U.S. at $3 trillion annually . Still, the idea is increasingly being put into real-world trials. Early this year, Finland became the first European country to pay unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum. The two-year national pilot program, gives 2,000 unemployed Finns ages 25 to 58 a guaranteed 560 (around $590), money that would keep coming even if they find work. The countrys social-security agency says the test is intended to cut red tape, alleviate poverty and, especially, reduce unemployment.
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