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Merck

BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. made Wall Street happy but saddened employees Tuesday when the drug manufacturer said it would eliminate 8,500 jobs from its marketing, administrative, and research and development departments in the hope of reducing annual operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. When Philadelphia native and chief executive officer Ken Frazier and chief financial officer Peter Kellogg explained the plan to financial analysts in a telephone conference call, two analysts congratulated Kellogg on the move.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The job cuts are continuing at drugmaker Merck & Co., which has offered buyouts to experienced union workers a year earlier than it expected amid talk of more layoffs of management and salaried employees. [UPDATE: Drugmaker Merck & Co., said Tuesday morning that it will cut about 8,500 jobs from commercial and research-and-development departments in hopes of reducing annual operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. See blog post here .] "We hear more cuts are coming in the management ranks," Paul Mercurio, recording secretary for United Steelworkers Union Local 10-00086, which has just under 2,000 members at the Merck facility in West Point, Montgomery County, said Monday.
NEWS
September 4, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ronald L. Stewart, 77, of Blue Bell, a senior business executive and leader in the pharmaceutical industry for 34 years, died of a heart arrhythmia Monday, Aug. 26, at his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard. His family said Mr. Stewart died in his sleep. He had not been ill. Mr. Stewart retired in 1999 from Merck, a global pharmaceutical manufacturer. At that time, he was executive director in charge of long-term care, marketing, and sales. Before joining Merck, Stewart worked for 24 years at SmithKline Beecham - now GlaxoSmithKline - in Philadelphia; he held positions in marketing, national accounts, government affairs, and human resources; he rose to vice president of corporate accounts.
BUSINESS
August 1, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drugmaker Merck & Co. said Tuesday that its second-quarter revenue declined from $12.3 billion to $11 billion and its net income fell from $1.8 billion to $906 million compared with the same period in 2012. Merck, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., has a big operation in West Point, Montgomery County, and other facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some financial analysts have urged Merck to sell its consumer products division or its animal health unit. Merck, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson are the three drugmakers among the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co., said Wednesday that it was recalling one lot of its hepatitis B vaccine Recombivax HB that was made in West Point, Montgomery County, because of fears that some of the vials could have cracked. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a notice of the voluntary recall on its website. The medication is delivered via injection. "Merck's investigation concluded that for certain vials in the affected lot, the potential exists for a crack to have occurred in the vial," the FDA said in its statement.
BUSINESS
June 29, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. has agreed to sell manufacturing and related sites and options on several products to Aspen Pharmacare Holdings for about $1 billion, the largest divestiture for Merck since 2009. The manufacturing sites, employing about 960 people, are in the Netherlands. Merck facilities in Sioux City, Iowa, and Des Plaines, Ill., employ a total of 20 people and also will shift to Aspen. The 11 products had $248 million in 2012 sales, mostly in Latin America and East Asia.
BUSINESS
June 4, 2013 | By Steve Rothwell, Associated Press
NEW YORK - For now, bad news is good for the stock market. On Monday, investors judged that the latest weak economic reports would make it more likely that the Federal Reserve would continue to stimulate the economy and support a rally on Wall Street. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported Monday that its factory index, a measure of U.S. manufacturing, fell in May to its lowest level since June 2009 as overseas economies slumped and weak business spending reduced new orders to factories.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2013
When Merck & Co. Inc. announced earlier this month that it planned to buy back $15 billion in common stock, it seemed likely that the move would follow the typical pattern: big talk, but little actual repurchase activity for months, if not years. Then the pharmaceutical company, with major operations in Montgomery County, struck an accelerated share-repurchase program with Goldman, Sachs & Co. last week to buy about $5 billion worth of Merck common stock. Also, Merck agreed to sell $6.5 billion in debt to raise cash to buy more shares, putting it well on the way to repurchasing shares worth $7.5 billion within the next 12 months.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2013 | Associated Press
NEW YORK - A Merck & Co. sales representative is suing the drugmaker for at least $100 million, saying it does not give women equal opportunities for advancement and punishes employees for maternity leave. Kelli Smith, who has worked at Merck since 2004, says in the lawsuit that the company's sales plans create incentives to discriminate against women, that women are discouraged from advancing their careers and are told they have to choose between being mothers and taking bigger roles at the company, and that men get more opportunities to meet senior managers and develop important contacts.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Multinational drug companies, like other businesses, see Africa as an emerging market with tremendous opportunities and challenges, and that was a backdrop to Thursday's announcements of two programs designed to deliver more medicine and better health care to the continent. Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc joined the GAVI alliance in announcing from Cape Town, South Africa, an agreement to supply human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at lower prices to developing countries to help girls and women in those nations avoid cervical cancer.
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