PHARMACY

Merck announces plans to trim workforce

BY Allison Cerra

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck disclosed plans to reduce its workforce by 12% to 13% by the end of 2015, the company announced Friday in its second-quarter earnings release.

The drug maker said the decision is part of its merger restructuring program — which is expected to yield annual ongoing savings of $4 billion to $4.6 billion by the end of 2015, up from the original estimate of $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion — but noted that despite the planned reduction, it will continue to hire new employees in strategic growth areas of the business, such as emerging markets.

"Merck is taking these difficult actions so that we can grow profitably and continue to deliver on our mission well into the future," Merck president and CEO Kenneth Frazier said. "The environment we operate in is changing rapidly and dramatically, and these steps will help us more efficiently serve customers and patients around the world."

Second-quarter worldwide sales for Merck increased to about $12.2 billion, or 65 cents per share, compared with $11.3 billion, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

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PHARMACY

Sanofi announces executive changes

BY Allison Cerra

PARIS — The president and CEO of Sanofi’s U.S. operations is stepping into a newly created role at the drug maker.

Greg Irace will become SVP global services, leading the global information systems function and will be responsible for shared support functions across all Sanofi businesses in North America. He also will play a key role in the development of a global strategy for shared services. Irace will report to Jérôme Contamine, Sanofi EVP and CFO.

Sanofi also announced that former GlaxoSmithKline executive Anne Whitaker will join Sanofi as president of the company’s North America pharmaceuticals business, and also will become part of Sanofi’s global management committee, effective Sept. 1. She will report to global operations president Hanspeter Spek.

Both Irace and Whitaker will be based in Bridgewater, N.J.

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WellSpan Health to open three CareExpress clinics in York County, Pa.

BY Antoinette Alexander

YORK, Pa. — WellSpan Health is planning to open this fall three CareExpress walk-in health clinics in York County, Pa., of which two clinics will be located inside Giant Food Stores.

According to WellSpan Health’s website, the first clinic is slated to open in DJ Plaza in September. The other two clinic locations will open in October within the Giant Food Stores.

Similar to other retail-based health clinics, WellSpan CareExpress will treat such minor ailments as coughs, colds, ear aches, pink eye and sinusitis, and will offer wellness screenings, immunizations and physicals.

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