MSD to cut around 500 jobs in US next year

pharmafile | October 18, 2019 | News story | Medical Communications  

MSD have announced it plans to eliminate approximately 500 jobs in multiple US states according to a filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Labour and Industry.

The drug manufacturer’s layoff notice states that the cuts will primarily affect impact-field and office-based sales staff alongside a small number of marketing employees.

MSD spokeswoman, Pamela Eisele, said: “This is not a new restructuring effort [and] these changes are part of ongoing company-wide efforts to sharpen Merck’s focus on innovative R&D that addresses significant unmet medical needs and on our best opportunities for growth.”

Merck already disclosed in its annual report stating that it will continue to scale down its real-estate footprint and improve efficiency in its manufacturing network. In 2018 the company eliminated about 2160 positions and spent approximately $632 million on restructuring activities, both of which were lower than then the previous two years.

Eisele added that the changes would affect employees in “select sales and headquarters commercial teams. At the same time we are eliminating certain U.S. jobs, we are also adding new U.S. jobs in growth areas, such as oncology, based on changes in our portfolio.”

Merck is primarily based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, and has over 69,000 employees worldwide. The company maintains a large presence in Pennsylvania, where there are more than 12,000 employees, including 4,000 in research and another 4,000 in manufacturing.

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson also said it planned to remove 297 employees at its Wayne facility in a similar letter sent to the Department of Labour.

The layoffs at Merck will be effective from 3 January 2020 and the positions are not union-protected jobs.

Lansdale Mayor Garry Herbert stated: “The high quality jobs that Merck has been able to offer at all of their facilities helped grow Lansdale into what it is today and it is a real detriment to our community that they are choosing to make this massive change to so many lives.

“Obviously, it is our hope that Merck is able to retain many of the area employees in other facilities putting those highly trained employees back to work as soon as possible for the sake of their families and their well-being.”

Nik Kiran

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