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Home Industry News MSD to close two UK plants, reduce workforce 16 per cent

MSD to close two UK plants, reduce workforce 16 per cent

1st December 2005

Following the earlier announcement that Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) parent company Merck & Co was to shed 11 per cent of its worldwide workforce it has emerged that the UK will fare relatively badly, losing around 16 per cent of the labour force.

MSD currently employs about 1,900 people in the UK and it is expected that around 330 of these positions will be cut.

Company spokeswoman Amy Rose said MSD’s manufacturing plant in Enfield, North London, will be closed or sold by the end of 2006 with the loss of 60 employees.

The company’s neuroscience research centre in Harlow, Essex, will also shut at the expense of 270 jobs.

Worldwide restructuring is intended to cut 7,000 jobs, or 11 per cent of Merck & Co’s work force, and produce cost savings of up to $4 billion by 2010.

About half of the job cuts will be in the US but in addition to the UK operations plants in Canada and Japan will also be closed.

The company has been under pressure in recent years and seen its ranking fall from third to fifth largest drugs company in the world

It faces 6,400 Vioxx-related lawsuits and potentially billions of dollars in payments to patients.

Further problems have stemmed from the fact that many of the patents that the company holds are set to run out in the next few years, of particular concern is the patent for its cholesterol drug Zocor which accounts for $5.2 billion in annual sales.

In all it is expected that about half of Merck’s projected 2005 revenue of $22-billion will be exposed to generic competition over the next five years.

track© Adfero Ltd

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