8,500 jobs cut by Merck

<p>Merck has confirmed it is cutting 8,500 jobs.</p>

Merck has announced it will be cutting a further 8,500 jobs as it seeks to make savings.

The US pharmaceutical company revealed that it is aiming to cut $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) from its costs by 2015.

Shares in the firm rose by 2.35 per cent to $48.73 in New York trading last night (October 1st), after it announced the cuts, reports BBC News.

Kenneth Frazier, chief executive at Merck, explained the decision to cut thousands of jobs was "difficult" but "essential" to ensure the future of the company.

He said: "We appreciate the contributions of all our employees, and we will support them during this time of transformation."

Alex Arfaei, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, suggested Merck may be concentrating on a handful of experimental drugs too much and this is having an impact on the health of the firm.

"Overall, today's announcement makes us more cautious about the potential of Merck's pipeline," he said.

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