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.
November 21, 2013 |
For women with limited resources and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, having a baby can be both joyous and perilous. Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical giant with facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is joining with nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia and Camden to reduce that peril by working to improving maternal health care. Merck said Tuesday that it was underwriting new outreach efforts by the Maternity Care Coalition, long known for its MOMobile home-visiting services, and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, nationally recognized for improving access to and coordination of care in New Jersey's poorest city.
November 3, 2013 |
The drugmaker Merck & Co. will lay off 500 people from its facility in West Point, Montgomery County, between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5. Merck said on Oct. 1 that it would eliminate 8,500 jobs from its worldwide workforce beyond the 7,500 it had not yet cut from an earlier restructuring plan, but company officials were not specific about where and when. Several big pharmaceutical companies with operations in the area are cutting jobs. Message boards devoted to Merck have been full of discussions about which units would lose people, but official public notice of the 500 job cuts at the West Point facility came because of a federal law called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
October 3, 2013 |
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.