Merck & Co to axe 13,000 more jobs by 2015

Merck & Co. plans to cut an additional 12,000 to 13,000 jobs by 2015 under a new round of its earlier announced restructuring as the second largest drugmaker in the US gears up to save as much as $4.6 billion amid slower revenue growth in the US and Europe.

The announcement comes a day after another US company, Massachusetts-based medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp, said that it would eliminate between 1,200 to 1,400 jobs globally due to sluggish sales both in the US and the international markets.

While reporting its second-quarter earnings yesterday, Merck said that it will eliminate an additional 12,000 to 13,000 jobs, nearly 14 per cent of its 91,000-strong  workforce, by 2015 .

Merck had axed around 11,500 jobs last year in order to reduce its workforce by 17 per cent by 2012, which would bring in savings of $4 billion to $4.6 billion annually by the end of 2015.

The total job cuts will come to 30,000 since Merck acquired Schering-Plough Corp in a $41-billion deal in November 2009 (See: Merck - Schering-Plough merger approved bu US, Swiss and Canadian regulators).

Expnading on year's cuts, the latest cuts, which are expected to start early next year and finish by 2015, will come from its New Jersey-based headquarters and other administrative functions. The company also said that it will close a few offices and manufacturing sites.