US workforce focus of Merck & Co cuts

US drugmaker Merck & Co announced plans to reduce its workforce by 13 percent, or 13,000 employees, in a bid to cut costs and focus its efforts in emerging markets.

Between 30 and 40 per cent of the cuts, which were announced as part of Merck’s second quarter results presentation, will be made in the US. The cuts are in addition to those the firm unveiled this time last year​.

CEO Kenneth C. Frazier said: "Merck is taking these difficult actions so that we can grow profitably and continue to deliver on our mission well into the future,"

"The environment we operate in is changing rapidly and dramatically, and these steps will help us more efficiently serve customers and patients around the world​."

Merck also said it will continue to hire new employees in strategic growth areas of the business such as emerging markets.

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