Thursday, July 8, 2010

The "Next Wave" -- 16 Facilities Closing -- At New Merck

Again, scant surprise here -- a total of at least 15,000 Merck/Schering-Plough people will have lost their jobs, by the time the dust settles. But if one were to look back even just two years, that figure balloons to over 30,000 -- between these two companies. Here is the announcement:

. . . .Merck today announced plans to phase out operations at eight research sites and eight manufacturing sites, as well as to continue to consolidate office facilities worldwide, as part of the global merger restructuring program that began last December. The goal of the restructuring is to create a flexible R&D organization that cultivates scientific innovation, facilitates external collaboration and drives pipeline progress and a reliable, more fully utilized and cost efficient worldwide manufacturing supply chain to support Merck's broader product portfolio.

Merck continues to expect its total workforce to be reduced by approximately 15 percent across all areas of the combined company worldwide as part of the initial phases of its merger restructuring program. The company said it will continue to hire new employees in strategic growth areas of the business as necessary. . . .

As part of today's announcement, Merck plans to phase out operations at eight research sites over the next two years. These sites include: Montreal, Canada; Boxmeer (Nobilon facility only), Oss, and Schaijk, Netherlands; Odense, Denmark; Waltrop, Germany; Newhouse, Scotland; and Cambridge (Kendall Square), Massachusetts, U.S. . . .

Beginning in the second half of 2010, the company will phase out operations at eight manufacturing facilities and these sites will exit the global network as activities are transferred to other locations. Specifically, the company intends to cease manufacturing activities at its facilities in Comazzo, Italy; Cacem, Portugal; Azcapotzalco, Mexico; Coyoacan, Mexico, and Santo Amaro, Brazil, and intends to sell the Mirador, Argentina and Miami Lakes, Florida, facilities. In Singapore, chemical manufacturing will be phased out at the legacy Merck site, but it will continue at the legacy Schering-Plough site. The company's extensive pharmaceutical manufacturing operations will continue at these two Singapore facilities. . . .

How many of these people could be gainfully employed (perhaps for the next decade, even) -- in some fashion, looking for new drug candidates -- with another $225 million added back into Merck's research (or other) budgets?

We'll never know -- because that amount left, with Ex-CEO Fred Hassan. He's on to the next likely bust-up -- at privately-held B&L.

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