Talk about bad timing. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) hosted an analyst day amid a recall of children's drugs and a congressional investigation. Fortunately, the confab with analysts was about its medical devices, so it was easy to dodge questions about its drugs.

Johnson & Johnson's drug-eluting stents get a lot of attention, probably because of the fierce four-way competition with Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), and Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), but there's a lot more to the company's medical device side than stents. In fact, sales of medical devices and diagnostics topped drug sales at the health-care giant last year.

The company has already received more than a dozen approvals from regulatory agencies this year and expects to make 80 requests to approve medical devices over the next two years.

Given the growth, investors should focus on medical devices, but it's a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where the growth is coming from because the divisions sell so many products that presumably don't register high sales individually. In the first quarter, for instance, Johnson & Johnson broke out sales for 12 different drugs, but lumped all the medical-device sales into their respective franchises. The only sales that were broken out were the drug-eluting stents, which slipped substantially.

Johnson & Johnson hopes its new drug-eluting stent, Nevo, will breathe new life into the Cordis franchise, which saw year-over-year sales slip 3.3% last quarter at constant currencies. Johnson & Johnson has already filed for approval in Europe and will apply for approval in the U.S. and Japan, which usually require more data, by 2012.

Johnson & Johnson's movement in medical devices and diagnostics is headed in the right direction, but whether Johnson & Johnson is a buy depends a lot on how it handles its current drug problem. Unfortunately investors can't have one without the other.

Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection and Motley Fool Options recommended buying calls on the stock. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of Medtronic and has a disclosure policy.