Las Piedras, PR, November 15, 2013 - Merck (NYSE, MRK), known as MSD outside the United Statesand Canada, announced today it will redesign its Puerto Rico manufacturing capabilities as part its ongoing global initiative to sharpen its commercial and R&D focus and improve overall operational effectiveness, and its efforts to streamline its global manufacturing operations.  The company will adopt a streamlined and more flexible cost structure and operating model in response to business challenges and the rapidly changing external environment. 

Merck manufacturing in Puerto Rico will focus on new product development and new product launches at its Las Piedras site.  Merck has invested more than $100M over the past several years in the Las Piedras facility to boost its capabilities as a leading world-wide launch facility focused on bringing new products from the pipeline to full-scale production, and ultimately, to the marketplace. The Las Piedras site is one of only two facilities in the Merck global network dedicated to the development and launch of new products. The site is currently bringing online new manufacturing technologies to support the launch of three new Merck products.

"During its 65 years in Puerto Rico, Merck has been committed to innovation and has demonstrated long-term value to all our stakeholders on the Island. That commitment continues as we further develop Las Piedras as a strategic site to develop and bring new products to market and to patients around the world," said Cesar Simich, M.D., Vice President and Managing Director, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Merck.

Manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredient at the Barceloneta site will be suspended by the end of 2014. The formulation and packaging operations under third party contract will continue at the site. In addition, the formulation operations at the Arecibo facility will be consolidated into Las Piedras and transferred to third-party contract manufacturers by the end of 2016. These proposed actions are not related to the compliance or supply performance of either facility, and Merck is committed to treating affected employees with dignity and respect, and providing them with appropriate support during the transition time.  

In addition to manufacturing, other Merck divisions represented in Puerto Rico include Merck Research Laboratories, Global Human Health, Merck Consumer Care and Merck Animal Health. These operations will continue unchanged.

Merck will also continue to support the local community through its multiple outreach programs. "We will continue our long tradition of recognizing excellence and innovation in Puerto Rico through programs like the Merck Health Innovation Awards," said Dr. Simich.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit and connect with us on TwitterFacebook andYouTube.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (