NEW YORK (AP) -- Fresh off major acquisitions of rivals, drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. are each planning to eliminate hundreds of jobs.
According to reports, Pfizer will eliminate nearly 1,200 jobs, including 680 in Pennsylvania, 400 in New Jersey, and 116 in Rockland County, N.Y. Meanwhile Merck will cut 500 jobs in New Jersey.
Pfizer, which is based in New York, bought vaccine maker Wyeth for $68 billion in October, while Merck paid $41.1 billion for Schering-Plough Corp. in November. Both are planning to eliminate thousands more jobs.
A Pfizer spokesman says the cuts were disclosed when the merger closed. A representative for Merck of Whitehouse Station, N.J., didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Combined, Pfizer and Wyeth plan to cut about 20,000 jobs, or 15 percent of their combined staff. In November, Pfizer said it would eliminate about 2,000 scientist and laboratory technician jobs. Merck said it planned to eliminate about 16,000 of the 106,000 staff positions it had after the Schering-Plough deal was complete.
In afternoon trading, Merck shares rose 4 cents to $37.74 and Pfizer shares added 18 cents to $18.86.