Last week Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside North America) announced it was to make $2.5bn (€1.85bn) of cuts in the next two years - mostly in R&D - with 16,000 jobs set to be lost.
The firm said manufacturing would remain unaffected until 2015 but some production will be lost with plans to shutter its Summit facility along with its current global headquarters Whitehouse Station, both in New Jersey.
“Certain manufacturing, laboratory and other functions currently located in Summit will be relocated to other facilities in New Jersey or Pennsylvania,” Merck spokesperson Lainie Keller told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
As for its headquarters, Merck was set to move from its Whitehouse Station site to Summit but has now announced it will move operations to a third New Jersey facility, Kenilworth, a site that only ended manufacturing operations in the last couple of weeks.
“The Kenilworth manufacturing facility closure took place in phases, and full closure was completed in September 2013,” Keller told us, as “part of Merck’s plans, initially announced in January 2011, to consolidate its manufacturing operations worldwide.”
The ending of manufacturing at both Kenilworth and Summit is part of “ongoing plans to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing and supply network,” she said, which though was not addressed in last week’s cost-cutting conference call, has been a strategy going forward since Merck’s $41bn mega-merger with Schering-Plough in 2009.
Eight facilities were immediately earmarked to close or be sold as the merger left the company with 91 manufacturing facilities.
However, due to streamlining far more have been sold or shuttered as the number now sits in the low 70s, according to Merck’s CFO Peter Kellogg who told investors in a Q2 conference call in July that “there is more to come.”