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.
October 2, 2013 |
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.
September 4, 2013 |
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.
August 1, 2013 |
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.