Merck announced plans to cut 1,200 sales jobs in the US. Affected employees will be notified by the end of May, with "separations...completed by the end of July," according to a company statement.
“Merck is taking this step as part of our previously disclosed, continuing efforts to optimize our cost base and improve Merck's effectiveness and efficiency across all aspects of our business as part of our Plan to Win strategy,” said Kenneth Frazier, president, Global Human Health. “With eight successful launches of Merck products approved in the US since 2006 now behind us, and with an unexpected delay in a new product approval, we decided to accelerate the achievement of efficiencies we anticipate gaining as we transition to our new commercial model in the US.”
The FDA's recent rejection of Merck's cholesterol drug Cordaptive, to be packaged with Zocor, came as a surprise to analysts. Additionally, Vytorin sales dropped during the first quarter amidst ENHANCE controversy.