More to come

Merck plans to cut 11% of its workforce and divest 5 plants in a bid to restructure. Considering the paucity of new drugs and the patent expirations and withdrawals of old ones, that makes a lot of sense. Manufacturing, in particular, doesn’t really belong in a big pharma company. It can be done much more efficiently and at the same quality on an outsourced basis. The only rationale to do it internally is for the tax benefits it generates. But when outsourcing is done right many of those benefits can be preserved.

November 28, 2005

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