Merck, the third-largest drug-maker in the world, has announced that thousands more layoffs will be taking place in addition to the 7,500 cuts they were already planning, bringing the total number of job losses to 16,000.
“By the end of 2015, the workforce reductions announced today, combined with pending, previously announced reductions of approximately 7,500, will result in a decrease of about 20 percent in Merck’s total global workforce of 81,000 employees,” the company said in a press release.
The company says they are trying to compete with generic drug makers and will now need to move their focus to other things–such as cancer treatment–in order to gain traction in a heavily flooded market.
“While these actions are essential to ensure that Merck can continue to fulfil its mission into the future, they are nevertheless difficult decisions because they affect our dedicated and talented colleagues,” said chief executive Kenneth Frazier. “We appreciate the contributions of all our employees, and we will support them during this time of transformation.”
Merck says the cuts will come mostly in the areas of marketing, administrative, research and development operations and estimate they’ll save $1 billion by the end of next year. However, the changes in staff and structure will cost the company between $2.5 and $3 billion, taking into account severance as well as the closing of facilities.
Merck isn’t the only big company making major changes soon; Paramount just announced they will be making some job cuts, which will affect about 110 people worldwide.
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