Embattled drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday it will cut 7,000 jobs -- 11 percent of its work force -- and close or sell five manufacturing plants in the first phase of a reorganization meant to save up to $4 billion by the end of the decade. Its shares dropped more than 4 percent in afternoon trading. The announcement, anticipated by Wall Street, comes as Merck faces the loss of patent protection in June for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Zocor and thousands of lawsuits and billions of dollars in potential liability from its recalled painkiller Vioxx.
Chicago Tribune | Merck to Cut Jobs, Close or Sell 5 Plants
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