Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Merck to move HQ from Whitehouse Station to Summit, N.J.

Merck & Co. said Tuesday that its cost-cutting efforts will now include closing its global headquarters building in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and moving most of those functions and people about 30 miles east to Summit, N.J. The move would mean a longer commute for some of the employees who live in Pennsylvania, with many of them in Bucks County.

 Merck is among the large pharmaceutical companies wrestling with pressure from insurers, public and private, to reduce the costs of drugs, generic competition and less revenue from medicine that produced big profits when it had market exclusivity because of patent protection. A company spokesman said Tuesday this move does not mean any more immediate changes for the Merck manufacturing facility in West Point, Montgomery County.

 "This announcement is not a restructuring in terms of job cuts," Merck spokesman Ron Rogers said. "We do have an ongoing effort to consolidate our global real estate footprint." The moving probably won't start until 2014 and will be completed in mid-2015, the company said in a statement. About 2,000 employees and contractors currently situated at the Whitehouse Station will move to the facilities in Summit or to other nearby facilities such as those in Branchburg, N.J. and Cokesbury, N.J. Merck's headquarters has been in Whitehouse Station since 1992, after being in Rahway, N.J. Merck got the Summit facility when it bought Schering-Plough in 2009.

 "The relocation of our headquarters will help us achieve our future vision, reduce the size of our operating footprint, and increase agility as we adapt to our changing business environment," said Kenneth C. Frazier, a Philly native and Penn State graduate who is chairman and chief executive officer of Merck. www.omegare.com

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