The job-cutting ax has come out for Merck's U.S. field force, as part of a move to cut 600 positions by August.
Merck's patent cliff has the company struggling to cut costs while it scrambles to make up for lost revenue, and sales and marketing has been no exception. Now, the job-cutting ax has come out for Merck's U.S. field force, where 600 positions will be chopped by August. Most at risk: Pennsylvania-based sales folks focused on declining primary care meds.
It is fascinating what has happened in the last couple of years in the animal health industry, which runs to $22 billion a year for animal drugs and vaccines and is expected to grow at 5.7% compound annual rate, faster than the market for human medicines.
A study carried out the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and the U.S.D.AU Agricultural Research Service found Zilmax had no negative effects on cattle health.
Merck is going through a complete makeover, buying and selling units at a rapid pace. And some of its employees are getting caught in its "out with the old and in with the new" philosophy. Now 600 sales reps have been told their services are no longer needed
Vaccines, which can be complicated and expensive to manufacture, haven't always been the moneymakers they are for some drugmakers today. Last year, the global vaccines market topped $25.56 billion according to Evaluate Pharma, with the world's 6 top-selling shots each cracking the blockbuster barrier.
Gilead Sciences got to the market first with an interferon-free oral hepatitis C fighter, a category projected to hit $20 billion in sales by 2020. Its Sovaldi has been racking up unprecedented sales, and a raft of litigation, as other drugmakers look for a way to get a piece of that action.
Baltimore-based Cerecor has gathered up the first half of a $33 million B round, with plans to devote much of that money to a midstage development program for an experimental depression therapy recently punted by a restructuring Merck.
The Wall Street Journal said that the drugmaker plans to test Zilmax in about 250,000 cattle in a randomized, controlled study. But sources say beef producers like Cargill and JBS SA have pushed back against the move. While Merck planned to have the feed additive on the market by this summer, the study has been delayed.
Merck wants to get its cattle feed additive Zilmax back to multimillion-dollar sales. But with lingering reservations from beef producers and sellers, that may be easier said than done--and competition is ramping up in the meantime.