Merck announces global consolidation plan

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck will close down eight of its research and development sites and eight of its manufacturing sites as part of a global consolidation plan, the drug maker said Thursday.

The plan will result in around 15% of the company’s staff being laid off as Merck seeks to create a “flexible” research and development organization that focuses on innovation, external collaboration and growth in the company’s product pipeline.

“Today’s announcement is another important step as we successfully integrate our global operations on schedule and move forward with Merck’s strategic priorities,” chairman and CEO Richard Clark said. “These changes are crucial to drive future growth and realize the promise of being a global healthcare leader for the long term.”