Merck plans to axe 8,500 jobs

Merck yesterday became the latest drug company to cut spending, announcing plans to cut annual operating costs by $2.5bn and eliminate 8,500 jobs. US-listed Merck said it aims to narrow its focus to products with the best chance of winning regulatory approval and achieving substantial sales. The job cuts, representing more than 10 per cent of the workforce, would be in addition to previously announced cuts of 7,500 positions.