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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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April 27, 2010

Merck Closes a Site

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Posted by Derek

I've heard that Merck told employees today that the Union site (an old Schering-Plough facility) will be closed. Apparently employees from both the Rahway and Union sites will be part of a pool when it comes to job cuts as a result of this, though - it's not just everyone who was working at Union.

This doesn't surprise me, actually. Union was one of the oldest of the Schering-Plough sites (perhaps the oldest after the company moved out of Bloomfield in 1992?) It always seemed a bit odd to have it and Kenilworth right next to each other, and throwing Rahway into the mix meant that something was probably going to give. . .any more details from the Merck people out there?

Comments (6) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. priscilla on April 28, 2010 6:37 AM writes...

They announced 3 site closings. Roseland, Union and Lafayette.

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2. observer on April 28, 2010 3:59 PM writes...

Have noticed Merck people never comment much on this blog!

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3. Anonymous on April 28, 2010 10:15 PM writes...

@2 There are very, very good reasons for the lack of commenting from Merck folk...

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4. rogi on April 29, 2010 8:47 AM writes...

As a former employee of Merck (>30 years), there is great fear of retribution. Paranoia reins. What was once a vibrant and forward R&D and Basic Research organization has now devolved into a cookie cutter follow the leader mentality. The fact that the former General Counsil has just been appointed President accentuates this reality.
Ken is a great lawyer. He saved Merck's a** with his legal strategy on the Vioxx lawsuits. However, he has no knowledge of science, as is the case with the present CEO, Richard Clark. There is no science leadership at the company, nor will they move to fill this void.

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5. musing on April 29, 2010 1:15 PM writes...

Re: Rogi
I too am an ex-Merck employee. During my good olden days, I have seen lot of action in many programs (both positive and negative). Both Ken and Dick could be excused as they are not scientists. My problem was with the scientists cutting across both biology and chemistry, who were clueless and continues to this day. Need a proof? Look at Dr. Peter Kim. Hmm. My understanding is that at the present time people are really afraid to speak their mind and that anxiety level is way up! When your mind is pre-occupied with other concerns, the science take the back seat and the wrong people in power does not get it!

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6. Sam on October 20, 2011 4:41 AM writes...

If Derek is saying that Merck is implementing a strategy (i.e. job cuts and not exiting any one therapeutic area) that is different from other companies, does this mean that Merck has the worst strategy among them?

Is the lack of science leadership the main reason why Merck is doing all these things?

Will they maintain their position as the second largest pharma company once their largest-selling drug, Singulair, expires?

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