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MSD to cut 12,000 jobs worldwide

MSD has said it expects to reduce its global workforce by 12 to 13 per cent before the end of 2015 in the pharmaceutical company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2011

MSD (known as Merck in the US and Canada) has said it expects to reduce its global workforce of 91,000 by an extra 12 to 13 per cent before the end of 2015 in its financial results for the second quarter of 2011.

The decision follows an announcement from the company in 2010 that Merck would cut staff by 17 per cent as part of ongoing plans to achieve $3.5bn in annual cost savings by the end of 2012.

As of June 30, 2011, Merck had around 91,000 employees worldwide.

Most jobs will be lost in Western markets, such as the US, with the company stating it will continue to hire new employees in strategic growth areas of the business such as emerging markets.

Areas of the company to be affected include administrative and headquarters jobs, as well as the ongoing sale or closure of manufacturing plants.

Merck also published its financial figures for the period, with global sales up 7 per cent to $12.15bn, with net income also up to $2.02bn.

The increase in revenue was helped by strong performances from Januvia (sitagliptin), Remicade (infliximab) and the Human Papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.

The company's biggest-selling drug was asthma medication, Singulair (montelukast), which made $1.35bn during the period.

MSD is due to face heavy losses for the drug however, with its patent protection due to expire next year.

1st August 2011

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