The company issued a statement saying that it will slash 8,500 jobs across its research and development operations. The job losses are part of a move to trim costs by $2.5 billion by 2015. Merck says that it will achieve up to $1 billion in savings next year, USA TODAY notes.
The drug-maker had previously announced plans to cut its payroll by 7,500 workers. The new job cuts will come in addition to those.
Under a new research and development chief, Merck is attempting to streamline operations and boost its pipeline of new drugs.
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve 15 milligram doses for Merck’s suvorexant sleeping pill, citing possible safety concerns.