RIVERSIDE, Pa. (AP) -- Drug maker Merck & Co. is buying back a Pennsylvania factory from the contract manufacturer that bought it 2 1/2 years ago.
Merck says that company, PRWT Services Inc., asked Merck to buy back the Cherokee Pharmaceuticals plant so it could refocus on its core businesses amid a tough economy.
The sale should be completed by Sept. 3.
Merck has been streamlining manufacturing operations since buying Schering-Plough Corp. last November. Spokesman Ron Rogers says Merck will evaluate the plant's operations and finances before deciding on the future of its 454 employees.
The plant is in rural Pennsylvania about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It makes active ingredients for prescription medicines, along with agricultural chemicals and other products.