Merck to slash its sales force

From Times Wire Services

Drug maker Merck is cutting 1,200 sales jobs in the U.S. following a week of regulatory setbacks for two of its drug candidates.

The job cuts follow Food and Drug Administration rejections for the company's proposed allergy drug combining the active ingredients of Merck's Singulair and Schering-Plough Corp.'s Claritin.

The FDA also rejected the company's developing cholesterol drug Cordaptive, while publicly demanding the company clean up problems at its main vaccine plant.

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