2 Oct 2013

More job cuts at pharmaceutical company

8:24 am on 2 October 2013

Merck is to cut 8500 further jobs in an attempt to cut $US2.5 billion from its costs by 2015.

Shares in the US pharmaceutical company rose 2.35% to $US48.73 in New York trading after it announced the cuts.

The BBC reports the new losses, combined with 7500 job cuts announced in 2011 and 2012, amount to 20% of its workforce.

Merck said it will shift its focus to areas it sees as high growth, such as cancer treatment.

It is also pulling products in late-stage trials it estimates will not be so successful and licensing other products to alternative companies.

The company anticipates its costs will be reduced by $US1 billion at the end of 2014, by cutting marketing, administrative, research and development operations.

The BBC reports Merck will also sell property in New Jersey to save costs.