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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 3, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 2,000 or so union employees and management at the Merck & Co. plant in West Point, Montgomery County, agreed to continue working and negotiating after the union contract expired Tuesday night. Weeks of negotiations and news of weak first-quarter financial results make the prospects for a new agreement and more job cuts - union or otherwise - unclear. On Wednesday, Merck said revenue and profits were down for the first quarter, and it lowered the profit expectations for the rest of 2013.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Mike Armstrong, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Novira Therapeutics Inc., of Doylestown, has completed its initial $25 million venture financing, after attracting $7.5 million from Versant Ventures. Founded by two former Merck & Co. Inc. executives, Novira is developing antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis B infections. The addition of Versant, with offices in Basel, Switzerland, and San Francisco, increased the amount of the financing from $23 million, announced last August and led by 5AM Ventures and Canaan Partners.   Contact Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com , or @PhillyInc on Twitter.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. said Friday that a drug designed to help patients coming out of anesthesia after surgery will require three more months of review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sugammadex sodium is an injectable drug that reverses the muscle-relaxing effects of anesthesia. If approved, the drug would be the first in a new class of medicine in this country. Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., but has a big operation in West Point, Montgomery County. The European Medicines Agency approved the drug in 2008 and it is sold in Europe under the name Bridion.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2013 | By Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press
Merck & Co. chief executive officer Kenneth C. Frazier is convinced that nearly everyone, from patients to long-term investors, wants the world's third-largest drugmaker to take big risks. So Merck is plunging ahead in one of medicine's toughest challenges - looking for a drug to slow Alzheimer's disease - despite repeated failures that have led most drugmakers to halt or scale back research on the No. 6 killer in the United States. "When people question me, 'Aren't you putting a lot of money at risk for something that's hard?
BUSINESS
February 24, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. Inc., will pay $8.5 million to settle allegations by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the drugmaker inappropriately marketed its controversial painkiller Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the market in 2004. State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced that, after attorneys' fees are paid, $6.9 million will go to the PACE program, which helps low-income seniors buy prescription medicine. Vioxx was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999 but was pulled from the market in 2004 amid reports that it was causing health problems, including heart attacks and strokes.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2013 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Merck & Co. said Thursday that it would pay $668 million to settle two class-action lawsuits by investors who accused the company of not properly disclosing the failure of a cholesterol drug to meet its target in a key clinical trial. Merck's announcement followed a disclosure by Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that after it had already set aside $670 million to cover potential damages in a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by Pfizer Inc., the "ultimate resolution of this matter could result in a loss of up to $1.4 billion" more - a potential total of about $2.1 billion.
NEWS
February 8, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
DENNIS TINNEY thought nothing of hopping on a plane and winging off to a sporting event somewhere in the world. That was the kind of guy he was. Adventurous, filled with the joy of living and out to conquer the world. He was always full of ideas for moneymaking schemes. And he took charge of his family as a loving patriarch. Dennis Edward Tinney, a 33-year employee of Merck & Co., where he was highly regarded by both superiors and fellow workers, died Jan. 31 of a brain aneurysm.
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