Merck slump could mean 7,200 jobs

A man walks by a sign at a Merck plant

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: More losses from big names today, raising the worry even further we're in for a pretty severe recession. Aircraft maker Boeing says its third-quarter earnings dipped by 38 percent. Drug company Merck is swallowing a 28 percent loss. And that's not all, as Marketplace's Jennifer Collins reports.


Jennifer Collins: Americans seem to be cutting back on those costly spoonfuls of medicine these days. Brand named drugs are losing ground to generics in this economic downturn.

That's the message behind this morning's disappointing earnings at Merck. Sales were down 2 percent. The pharma company now says it's planning to cut 12 percent of its work force -- that's 7,200 jobs.

The New Jersey-based drugmaker blames falling sales. Earlier this week, Pfizer also reported a slump in sales, but said cost cuts helped keep the company's profits impressive.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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