Merck announced a strategic partnership with inVentiv Health, whereby Merck will utilize inVentiv's contract sales staff to supplement Merck's in-house sales force.
The move comes in the wake of Merck's elimination of 15% of its U.S. sales force (1,200 jobs) four months ago.
According to a Dow Jones Newswire report, Whitehouse Station, NJ-based Merck, rather than recruit, hire or keep full-time representatives on the books, has decided to create a more flexible approach so as the market demands change, Merck can expand and contract the number of reps that is has at its disposal.
Merck didn't reveal how many inVentiv reps will be recruited or which drugs they'll be promoting. However, according to the Dow Jones report, the partnership does not include vaccines or drugs marketed to oncologists, ophthalmologists, or dermatologists.
InVentiv's Marcia Frederick said the company is seeing an upswing in its contract sales force business.
Separately, InVentiv announced that it has ended a contract with Boehringer Ingelheim, while initiating nine new sales team agreements including Merck.