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Merck Closing 16 Sites, Including Two in United States

Merck is closing eight research sites and eight manufacturing facilities as part of a company restructuring. The move will eliminate 15 percent of its work force, and comes after the merger of Merck with Schering-Plough. The pharmaceutical company also plans to consolidate its offices across the globe, a project that began last December. The company is seeking to create a more flexible organization ready for scientific innovation and external collaboration.

"Today's announcement is another important step as we successfully integrate our global operations on schedule and move forward with Merck's strategic priorities," said Richard T. Clark, chairman and CEO of Merck. "These changes are crucial to drive future growth and realize the promise of being a global healthcare leader for the long term. While we believe these actions are necessary to support Merck's competitive advantage, they required difficult decisions that will impact some of our colleagues, their families and local communities. We will implement our restructuring plans with the utmost care and respect for the hard-working and talented employees of Merck."

Merck expects that the consolidation will save the company $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion in 2012, just shy of its $3.5 billion cost-savings goal.

The company is closing research sites in Montreal and Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with others around the world. It will also shutter manufacturing plants in Miami Lakes, Florida, plus seven other global sites.

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