Merck says Montgomery County jobs are safe - for now

Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier said the West Point. site remained a company hub. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier said the West Point. site remained a company hub. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Posted: April 07, 2013

PRINCETON - Merck & Co.'s chief executive officer, Ken Frazier, says the drugmaker's facility in West Point, Montgomery County, is in no danger of being closed now.

Merck is among the many pharmaceutical companies that have announced in recent months plans to close or consolidate facilities in hopes of squeezing more efficiency out of their operations. Some of those decisions involved laying off employees.

Is West Point safe?

"Yes," Frazier said Thursday evening after speaking about Merck's worldwide vaccine programs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "We have no plans to do anything with respect to West Point. It is still the hub of Merck manufacturing and research."

In October, Merck said it planned to leave its headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J., with about 2,000 employees moving to three existing locations in New Jersey. Most will move to a facility in Summit, which Merck inherited when it bought Schering Plough in 2009; others will go to facilities in Branchburg and Cokesbury.

In January, pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen, based in Chesterbrook, said it would close its distribution center in Thorofare, Gloucester County.

In March, AstraZeneca said it would cut or move 1,200 jobs from its facility in Wilmington. About 2,000 employees will still work there, but that is down from a high of about 5,000 several years ago.

Also in March, GlaxoSmithKline said it planned to consolidate facilities in Montgomery County that house employees working in research. About 1,900 employees will move from two facilities in Upper Merion to an existing facility in Upper Providence during the next two to four years. A company spokeswoman said at the time there were no planned layoffs as part of that move. Glaxo also said it would close a facility in Cambridge, Mass., and move some of the 60 affected employees to Upper Providence.


Contact David Sell at 215-854-4506, dsell@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @phillypharma. Read his blog at www.philly.com/phillypharma.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|