Merck Cuts 148 Jobs in North Wales

This round of layoffs isn't the first and comes after the company announced that it'll stop promotion of a blood circulation drug.

Merck and Co. Inc., a New Jersey-based drug company, will be cutting 148 jobs at their North Wales location. According to the company’s WARN filing, the cuts will be effective beginning September 12th.

The company will remove field-based sales and other headquarters-based positions, according to Lainie Keller, a spokesperson for the company, and the company’s call to end promotion for one of its products is the cause.

“Merck has made the business decision to cease promotion of Zontivity (vorapaxar) in the U.S., effective September 2, 2016,” said Keller in an email. She stressed that the decision was a business one, and not based on the safety or efficacy of the drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Zonativity tablets in 2014, a drug that reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death by inhibiting blood clots.

Keller also said, “many of the field-based employees who will be impacted do not reside in Pennsylvania” because the sales operation is based out of a location in Upper Gwynedd Township.

This announcement comes a month after Merck said that it was shifting 300 jobs from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Boston and San Francisco, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Keller told the Inquirer that this new wave of cuts is “separate and distinct” from the cuts the workers were told about earlier in the summer.

According to Keller, Merck employs more than 12,500 people in Montgomery County.