Merck to Reduce U.S. Sales Force by 1,200 Positions

Merck to Reduce U.S. Sales Force by 1,200 Positions


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- Merck & Co., Inc. today announced plans to reduce the size of its U.S. sales force by 1,200 positions.

"Merck is taking this step as part of our previously disclosed, continuing efforts to optimize our cost base and improve Merck's effectiveness and efficiency across all aspects of our business as part of our Plan to Win strategy," said Kenneth Frazier, president, Global Human Health. "With eight successful launches of Merck products approved in the U.S. since 2006 now behind us, and with an unexpected delay in a new product approval, we decided to accelerate the achievement of efficiencies we anticipate gaining as we transition to our new commercial model in the U.S."

The Company does not anticipate any disruption in its service to customers as these changes occur.

Affected employees, who are located throughout the U.S., will be notified by the end of May; separations will be completed by the end of July. As Merck takes this difficult but necessary action, the Company is committed to treating employees with fairness and respect. Eligible employees will receive benefits and other services to assist them.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007 and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company's periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.