This is a big number and as stated below this is in addition to the 7500 cuts already imageannounced so those are both big numbers.  More “outside” deals are also on the agenda to find other ways to make money.  One of their biggest markets, diabetes also has a lot of competition out there today.  Every drug maker seems to either have one of 3 focuses with cardiology drugs, cancer drugs or diabetes.  BD

Merck & Co. (MRK), the second-biggest U.S. drugmaker by sales, will fire 8,500 workers and revamp its research and development after seeing new medicines delayed by U.S. regulators.

The positions eliminated add to 7,500 cuts already announced, the Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based company said in a statement today. The total amounts to 20 percent of Merck’s 81,000 workers. The company declined to break down where the dismissals will occur, saying only they will come from all areas of Merck, including R&D, sales and management.

The company also will trim its real estate holdings, particularly in New Jersey, and work to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing and supply network. As part of the move, its headquarters will move to Kenilworth, New Jersey, about 35 miles east and closer to New York City. The company previously had planned to move to Summit.

Merck said it looked at every part of its business during the overhaul. Part of the strategy shift involves creating a new unit to sell oncology drugs that use the body’s own immune system to kill cancer cells. The company will do more outside deals to bolster its pipeline.


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