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Merck Layoffs 2013


Merck Layoffs 2013, Drug maker Merck announced Tuesday that it will lay off thousands of employees as it streamlines its research and development and other functions.

In a news release, the company says the job cuts of about 8,500 are part of “a global initiative to sharpen its commercial and research and development (R&D) focus.”

Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., expects to save about $2.5 billion in annual net costs by the end of 2015. It expects to realize $1 billion of those savings by the end of 2014.

For Merck, it’s job cuts on top of job cuts. The 8,500 jobs to be eliminated are in addition to the 7,500 positions Merck already has announced, the company said in its news release.

“These actions will make Merck a more competitive company, better positioned to drive innovation and to more effectively commercialize medicines and vaccines for the people who need them,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Today’s announcement further underscores that we are committed to improving our performance in the short term while also investing for the long term to create value for patients, customers and shareholders.”

The overhaul is part of a broader strategy being set by the company’s R&D chief Roger Perlmutter. Frazier hired Perlmutter in April as a replacement for Peter Kim, following developmental setbacks for experimental drugs in cardiovascular, surgery and osteoporosis.

The company also said, on Tuesday, in a separate news release, that it will move its global headquarters from Whitehouse Station to its existing facilities in Kenilworth, N.J. The company had previously announced that it would close its Whitehouse Station building and relocate its global headquarters to Summit, N.J.

But after re-evaluating its real estate needs in the state, Merck determined that it could achieve greater cost savings and operational synergies by closing both its Summit campus and its main Whitehouse facility, according to the Merck release.

The transition is expected to begin next year and be completed in 2015.

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