October 28, 2014 |
A bit more than a year after announcing plans to cut 8,500 jobs, including hundreds in the Philadelphia suburbs, Merck & Co. chief executive officer Ken Frazier said Monday that the drugmaker was on track to deliver the $2.5 billion in annual cost savings that he promised to Wall Street. "Last October, we launched a multiyear initiative to transform Merck and build a platform for sustained future growth," Frazier said in a statement. "One year later, we delivered solid third-quarter results and are making steady progress in our transformation, including divesting noncore assets, reducing our expense base, and investing in our promising new product launches and pipeline.
September 24, 2014 |
The other Merck said Monday that it would spend $17 billion to buy the chemical company Sigma-Aldrich Corp., based in St. Louis. Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, made Monday's announcement. Merck & Co. is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and has a big operation in Montgomery County. Both companies make pharmaceutical products. They are separate corporations now, but it was not always so. Amid the death, destruction, and fear of foreigners during World War I, the U.S. government announced in 1917 that it would seize several companies with German connections.
September 15, 2014 |
Merck & Co. said on Sept. 4 that the Food and Drug Administration approved what Merck said was a groundbreaking cancer treatment that it hopes will cure many patients and generate billions of dollars in revenue. On the same day, Bristol-Myers Squibb said bunk to that, alleging patent infringement in a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware, where both global pharmaceutical giants are registered. Bristol-Myers, whose version of that type of cancer drug was approved in Japan in July, hoped the legal move would thwart Merck in the industry race to sell expensive cancer medicine.
September 6, 2014 |
In a huge boost to the research efforts of drugmaker Merck & Co., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new type of drug that unlocks the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. Merck, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and employs thousands of people in Montgomery County, had staked much of its future hopes on approval and then sales, which analysts expect will generate billions of dollars a year. The chemical name of the drug is pembrolizumab and its brand name will be Keytruda.
July 27, 2014 |
Merck & Co., which is reorganizing to slash $2.5 billion in costs and 8,500 workers, has informed Pennsylvania officials that it will cut 600 jobs at facilities in North Wales and Lansdale. The cuts were disclosed in an official notice posted on the state Department of Labor and Industry website. According to the notice, the effective date is Aug. 26. Steven Cragle, spokesman for the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based pharmaceutical giant, said Friday that the notice was sent in June, and that employees losing their jobs would be mostly field-based salespeople who call on family doctors and medical facilities.
June 15, 2014 |
Drugmaker Merck & Co. has narrowed its research focus in the hope of raising profit, but type 2 diabetes remains part of the program because the market is huge and will likely grow as Americans and people in other countries get older and heavier. Merck said Friday that it would create a "global registry" of about 20,000 patients to evaluate their real-world experience with medication, blood sugar levels, diet, exercise, use of health care, and quality of life. Merck will collaborate with academic researchers at more than 900 sites in the United States, Germany, France, and Japan.
June 11, 2014 |
The drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday that it would buy Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $3.85 billion to keep pace in the competitive and lucrative market for medicine to treat hepatitis C, which afflicts about 150 million people worldwide. Merck will pay $24.50 for each share of Idenix, which closed Friday at $7.23. The large premium reflects Merck's internal reorganization, external views of the market for liver diseases such as hepatitis, and the plans of drug rivals. Based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., but with a huge operation in Montgomery County, Merck is reorganizing.
May 8, 2014 |
Coppertone and Claritin, iconic health-care products for preventing sunburn and treating allergies, will get a new corporate parent under a deal announced Tuesday in which Merck & Co. will sell its over-the-counter division to Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. New Jersey-based Merck got 70 percent of its consumer division revenue from U.S. sales, but German-based Bayer expects to make more from sales elsewhere on the globe. This is the latest deal in a wave of takeovers and trades by pharmaceutical industry giants, which are scrambling to reorganize to better balance investor demands for higher profits with patient and payer demands for better products at lower prices.
January 19, 2014 |
Lawyers representing pharmaceuticals saleswomen employed by Merck & Co. have upped the ante in a sexual discrimination lawsuit, adding plaintiffs and setting damages sought at $250 million. "Merck's glass ceiling and maternal walls are indisputable," lawyers for the women wrote in documents filed in federal court in Trenton late Thursday evening. The pleadings say Merck discriminates against saleswomen who "are or have been pregnant or are caregivers to young children" by denying them promotions and failing to compensate them as they do men. Lawyers for the women are seeking class-action status and say the class could include thousands of women.
January 12, 2014 |
What's good for some can be bad for others, and that maxim was demonstrated again last week with the release of the annual National Health Expenditures analysis. Though America spent just shy of $2.8 trillion in 2012 on health-care spending, the rate of growth was essentially flat, continuing a four-year trend, according to the study by the federal government's Office of the Actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs. That is the longest period of slow or no growth in the 53-year history of the analysis.