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Business

Merck Slashes Jobs, Closes Research Sites

by Rick Mullin
November 3, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 44

Merck & Co. said late last month that it will cut its workforce by about 12%, eliminating approximately 7,200 positions across the company's worldwide operations. The firm expects to complete the cuts by the end of 2011. The company also disclosed that it will shutter research facilities in Seattle; Tsukuba, Japan; and Pomezia, Italy. Merck, which now has approximately 57,000 employees worldwide, expects the current job cuts to yield cumulative pretax savings of $3.8 billion to $4.2 billion from 2008 to 2013. The company anticipates a pretax restructuring cost of between $250 million and $450 million in the fourth quarter of this year. Like most major drug companies, Merck faces many pressures, including a drop-off in new drugs, impending patent expirations, and declining revenue for products in its portfolio. The firm has in recent years closed five of its manufacturing facilities around the world.

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