UPDATED: Merck manufacturing shedding another 2,600 jobs

The job cuts at Merck ($MRK) have been massive ever since its 2009 merger with Schering-Plough, 36,000 in 5 years. They have almost run their course, but manufacturing will make up most of what is left as it continues to shed manufacturing plants.

With the Schering-Plough deal, Merck's manufacturing network tripled to about 90 plants and it has been closing and selling plants since to cut costs and streamline production. In a recent filing with the SEC, the drugmaker said most of its administrative and sales cuts were actually finalized by the end of 2013, but that there were still about 2,585 positions to go and most of those would come from its manufacturing network.

Most of that will come from the sale of two plants, one in Italy and another in France, a spokeswoman said, although Merck was giving up very few facts on those deals. It already shed some of those jobs when in July it completed the sale of a plant in Pavia, Italy, a Merck spokeswoman told FiercePharmaManufacturing.

The plant was originally going to Zambon Pharma, a major Italian drugmaker, but when that deal fell by the wayside, Merck sold it to Istituto Biochimico Nazionale Savio. The price was kept under wraps but IBN kept on the 148 employees at the facility and was awarded a 5-year contract to continue to produce products for Merck.  Merck is also closing a plant in LaVallee, France, a deal that is slated to be complete by the end of 2016, but Merck did not disclose the details of that deal.

Merck has steadily been closing and selling plants, including a facility in Swords, Ireland, and more recently two in Puerto Rico. Last year it sold one facility there to Sanofi's ($SNY) animal health unit Merial and in April said it would sell the other in Arecibo to American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC), which will add it to the 5 dozen other plants it has around the world making industrial products. Those two deals saved about 400 jobs on the island.

- read the Merck filing