Merck & Co Sheds more than 200 French Jobs

15.11.2019 -

US Merck & Co. is eliminating 200 manufacturing and R&D jobs in France as part of a $1.2 billion worldwide restructuring of operations.

The axe will fall on 101 production and 106 R&D jobs at the Mirabel site in Riom, which manufactures or packages hospital and ophthalmic products. Currently, some 575 people are employed there, according to French media. 

Mirabel employees are said to have been told that research and production has steadily declined at the site, leading to the decision to discontinue R&D there and look for a buyer willing to keep production going on a sustainable basis.

In a statement, Merck said the job-cutting process would be done “transparently.”

The US pharma major said last spring that its forward plans call for phasing down older drugs in favor of biologics such as Keytruda and its human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil 9.

In July, Merck announced plans to ramp up Gardasil output at US sites in Virginia and North Carolina. The company is also investing in a new Irish plant for Keytruda in Swords, Dublin, a site formerly earmarked for closure.  Altogether, the two investments will add 775 jobs.