Merck & Co, taking a cue from other drugmakers that have slashed research spending to bolster earnings, on Tuesday said it plans to slash 8,500 jobs and cut annual operating costs by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015.
The job cuts announced Tuesday, representing more than 10 percent of the company’s global workforce of 81,000 employees, would be in addition to previously announced cuts of 7,500 positions.
Merck has 11,700 employees at seven sites in Pennsylvania, including those working in West Point and Upper Gwynedd in Montgomery County. Spokeswoman Lainie Keller said the job cuts are companywide and could not say how many would affect the Pennsylvania sites.
By slimming down, Merck aims to narrow its focus to products with the best chance of winning regulatory approval and achieving substantial sales, while jettisoning research products with less likelihood of success.