Merck set to cut 11% of workers

first_imgTRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Drugmaker Merck & Co., squeezed by Vioxx lawsuits, tumbling revenues and other troubles, is eliminating 7,000 jobs and five production plants and revamping manufacturing in the first phase of a global reorganization. The long-awaited announcement Monday drove Merck shares down more than 4 percent. The restructuring of manufacturing, supply chain and research operations, meant to lower pretax costs by $3.5 billion to $4 billion through 2010, includes immediately starting to cut 11 percent of Merck’s work force, with 60 percent of the reductions in manufacturing. The rest of the job cuts – the third round announced since October 2003 – are to be spread across the company, with about half in the United States. By the end of 2008, Merck also plans to close one basic research site and two preclinical development sites, close or sell five of its 31 manufacturing plants and reduce operations at some others. It will also streamline manufacturing and outsource more of it, and reduce supply costs, with the latter effort expected to produce about half the savings. Analysts said the move is part of an emerging trend in an industry that for years never had to worry about cutting costs, given gross profit margins well above 70 percent and limited pressure on prices until recently. Pfizer, Wyeth and a number of smaller companies have announced a restructuring and job cuts in the last year or so. “This is in response to a very challenging environment,” said Morgan Stanley managing director Jami Rubin. “I would expect broader cuts to be announced within the sales force, marketing, general and (administration) as well as R&D over the longer run.” In December, then-chief executive officer Raymond V. Gilmartin announced several similar changes aimed at cutting Merck’s costs by $2.4 billion through 2008. Merck also eliminated 5,100 jobs through buyouts and layoffs in 2003-04 and an additional 825 this year. Richard T. Clark, who took over as CEO in May, said Merck’s revenue and legal troubles didn’t play a role in his strategy, which is meant to create a more efficient, competitive business. Meanwhile, he said, the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company must maintain sales of its top drugs, launch new ones and better integrate late-stage research and manufacturing to reduce the time to launch new products. “We need to execute flawlessly all of those ingredients in order to turn this around,” Clark told The Associated Press in an interview. Merck has slipped from the world’s third biggest pharmaceutical company to No. 5, by revenue, in recent years. It is facing thousands of lawsuits and tens of billions of dollars in potential liability from its recalled painkiller Vioxx, a weak pipeline of new medicines and the loss of patent protection, in June, for its blockbuster cholesterol fighter Zocor. Zocor now generates about 20 percent of Merck revenues and is the world’s second-biggest drug. With coming competition from generic drug makers, Merck expects Zocor sales to drop to $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion in 2006, from $4.2 billion to $4.5 billion this year. Tony Butler, senior pharmaceutical analyst with Lehman Brothers, said Vioxx, Zocor and an industry cost-cutting trend were behind the move. “There’s not a company that’s not swept up in this wave of cost analysis,” Butler said. Henry L. Miller, a plaintiff’s attorney from Newtown Square, Pa., who has two Vioxx cases pending, said it would be hard to draw a connection between that litigation and the restructuring, however. “If every company the size of Merck that had lawsuits filed against it went out and started closing plants, nobody would be doing any business,” Miller said. The first federal Vioxx liability trial is to start in Houston on Tuesday. Merck has won once and lost once in state trials in New Jersey and Texas. Merck employs just under 63,400 people, including about 8,000 in New Jersey, 15,000 in Pennsylvania and a total of 31,000 in the United States. Vacant jobs and ones held by temporary workers will be cut first and full-time workers will get severance packages, but no buyouts are planned, Clark said. Willie A. Deese, head of Merck manufacturing, said the company won’t name facilities being closed, sold or scaled back until workers are notified in the next couple of days. He said the new supply strategy will transform Merck’s manufacturing and enhance shareholder value. Merck shares fell $1.42 to close at $29.56 in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange – down about two-thirds from its value five years ago. Health care analyst Hemant Shah of HKS & Co. in Warren, N.J., said it’s hard to tell if the reductions are the right size, because Merck still has to market existing drugs and new medications in what he called a “lackluster” pipeline. Medications in their final stages of development include drugs for insomnia, diabetes and nausea caused by chemotherapy, and vaccines for rotavirus, shingles and cervical cancer. Restructuring costs from the changes are expected to total up to $2.2 billion through 2008, much of that through accelerated depreciation of closed facilities. Further details are expected at Merck’s Dec. 15 annual business briefing. Merck reiterated its earnings-per-share forecasts of $2.04 to $2.10, including one-time charges, for 2005 and $1.98 to $2.12, with one-time charges, for 2006. Associated Press writers Bonnie Pfister in Trenton and John Curran in Atlantic City contributed to this report. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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The artist at work: Mbongeni Buthelezi makes beauty out of waste

first_imgSouth African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi recycles plastic litter, adds some heat and melts it all on to his canvas to create some of the most audacious pieces of art. A regular exhibitor on the local and international art scenes for almost 20 years, he has been hailed as one of the country’s most innovative artists.‘Self Portrait’ by South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi, who creates Pollockesque canvases using recycled plastic. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)• South African art: a history • African art scene blooms in South Africa• Artists give their impression of Madiba• Using the arts to build an inclusive South Africa• South African artists draw international interest “I use rubbish to create something beautiful from it. I collect something that has no value and give it new life. That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives,” is how artist Mbongeni Buthelezi introduces himself on his website portfolio, and for 16 years he’s made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s boldest and most original artists.He chose to work with plastic during his art school days as a way to draw attention to the medium and as a way to stand out in the often crowded local art scene. The combination of the tangible method of sculpting plastic on to canvas was also a way for him to work through his creative process. He told Euronews recently: “With watercolour and other mediums… that I have experimented with in the past, there was a time where I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling, I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”‘Winter in Kliptown’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi, exhibited at the Seippel Gallery in Koln, Germany. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)Buthelezi has been a regular and popular exhibitor on the South African art circuit for years, and has garnered positive attention from international galleries and art schools. Art lovers are intrigued by his use of discarded consumer plastic in crafting vibrant and engrossing African story-portraits. In these works, he makes bold statements about the world as he sees it, addressing social and environmental issues.In 2010, the Live Out Loud website said Buthelezi’s work “reflects humanity’s often detrimental impact on the environment, but his original use of discarded objects to depict an often forgotten group of people truly sets him apart”.His artistic process involves melting down strips of coloured plastic on to the canvas surface, itself often also made from plastic. He understates the creation process as simple and haphazard, but the final Pollockesque pieces speak for themselves, enjoyable and provocative on all levels, from all distances. “I’m interested in finding the details in the painting, but also, as you step away from the piece it really comes together,” Buthelezi told BBC News at his latest exhibition in Johannesburg this week.‘Hula Hoop III’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi is an example of the artist’s attention to detail. He uses melted recycled plastic to tell engrossing African story-portraits. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)Buthelezi may be the only artist – that he knows of – who works in this medium, but he appreciates this singularity as it doesn’t give him an outside point of reference that may hinder his originality. Yet he still believes the melted plastic method is a way to make art creation easily available to anyone who wants to experiment, but who may not be able to access or afford traditional art materials. “(Anyone) can gather waste plastic and start painting,” he says, “and construct something out of nothing.”When it comes to appreciating the role art has played in his life, Buthelezi is philosophical, telling the BBC he sees himself as “a mirror for the society I live in, and I want to make a meaningful impact on that society”.‘Church’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi. Of his art he says he is interested in “(finding) the details close up, but also see the whole story as you view it from afar”. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)In addition to being recognised with a number of local art awards during his career, including semi-finalist in the 2007 Sasol Wax Art Awards, Buthelezi has also won a Visi Design award and a Mail & Guardian Green Trust award for “commitment and contributions to the environment (with) social conscience and creativity”.He is artist-in-residence at the Omni International Arts Centre in New York City and for the South African National Arts Festival. He has exhibited in Germany, the US and Holland, and has been commissioned to make exclusive works by companies such as Mercedes Benz South Africa and the Daimler art collection in Stuttgart, Germany.last_img read more

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Ohio Beef Expo enjoyed success in 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) hosted more than 30,000 participants and attendees at the Ohio Expo Center in March for the 2018 Ohio Beef Expo.The Expo provides an annual opportunity for those in the cattle industry in Ohio, and across the nation, to learn and enhance their operations through a three-day trade show, cattle sales, youth events and educational seminars.Five breed shows and two breed parades were featured Friday, as well as numerous breed displays representing the Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Murray Grey, Red Angus, Simmental and Shorthorn breeds. The Genetic Pathway, located in the Showbloom breed’s barn, had the industry’s most popular sires and donor prospects on display throughout the weekend. Six breed sales brought in large crowds on Saturday, March 17, selling 374 lots with an average price of $2,864 and a gross of $1,197,125.Two recipients were honored with the Friend of the Expo Award for their contribution to the Expo’s annual success. Linde Sutherly, New Carlisle, and Nancy Snook, Caldwell, were both honored. Sutherly is the owner of Linde’s Livestock Photos and a huge supporter of OCA youth programs. She has been the official Expo photographer since 2014. Snook has been actively involved in the Expo since her family participated in the first Ohio Beef Expo in 1988. Since then, Snook has served on the junior show committee, facilitated the judging contest and most recently taught youth beef quality assurance.Friday was Youth Day, sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. The day began with the judging contest where over 450 youth participated. First place winners included: Beau Johnson, Gallia County (Junior Division); Wally Minges, Butler County (Senior Division); Brooke Simon, Hannah Lang, Ethan Davies and Samantha VanVorhis, Wood County (Junior Team); and Katelyn Cowdrey, Adrianne Moran and Amber Storey, Brown County (Senior Team).In addition, nearly 500 youth participated in beef quality assurance training. Junior exhibitors could also take advantage of two fitting and clipping demonstrations and a welcome pizza party.Events continued Saturday with over 500 exhibitors in the showmanship competition, sponsored by Cattle Visions, LLC and ShowBloom. The top finishers in showmanship included first place in Novice Showmanship: Caroline Winter from Pickaway County, Beginner Showmanship: Carly Sanders from Highland County, Junior Showmanship: Beau Johnson from Gallia County, Intermediate Showmanship: Allison Davis from Carroll County, and Senior Showmanship: Kyle Piscione from Medina County.The junior portion wrapped up Sunday with the market animal show and heifer show with a combined total of nearly 900 head from across the state. During the junior show, Natalie Wagner, Brown County, was awarded the $1,000 Saltwell Expo scholarship, funded by the Saltwell Western Store and Ohio Beef Expo.During the event, OCA volunteers signed up and renewed nearly 200 memberships including NCBA members. Any current or new OCA member had the opportunity to win some great prizes. The OCA County Affiliate of Darke County won the County Affiliate Recruitment Contest drawing and received their choice of a grill or set of Tru-Test Scales sponsored by the Ohio Corn Marketing Program.The Expo featured a trade show featuring more than 130 vendors from 17 states. Cashman’s Equipment was selected as the premier large booth exhibitor, Weaver Leather Livestock was selected as the premier small booth exhibitor and Lance’s Trailer Sales was selected as the premier outdoor exhibitor. An educational seminar, Accessing Current and Future Cattle Markets, jointly sponsored by AllFlex USA, Inc. and United Producers, Inc. took place on Saturday, March 17.A complete list of the event’s sponsors can be found at www.ohiobeefexpo.com. The dates for the 2019 Ohio Beef Expo are March 15-17. Visit www.ohiobeefexpo.com for more information as well as complete coverage of the 2018 event.last_img read more

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Tibco Offers Real-Time Service For Optimizing BPM Software

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts alex williams Tags:#enterprise#saas IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Tibco is offering a real-time service called iProcess Spotfire that allows business users to manipulate data and produce reports from their business process management (BPM) software.Tibco’s do-it-yourself (DIY) service represents one of the promises of the real-time enterprise. The task of updating and fine tuning BPM software usually requires the help of IT personnel. It’s reminiscent of how the web has made the most complex tasks fairly doable by people with little expertise. Tasks that once required experts now can be performed by people with few technical skills.The Tibco service is designed for all levels of business users. Professionals can use it to understand the operation aspects of the process performance. Executives can use it to get a broad look at the business.iProcess Spotfire features:Personalized process reporting and analytics: Gone are the static dashboards. Custom templates display reports that are tailored to specific users. Better Context: Tibco provides the ability to extract process performance data generated by the BPM and combine it with business information from other applications. This provides the business manager with a broader context than if the data from the BPM environment was all that could be accessed.Self-service: Instead of relying on IT to create custom reports, iProcess Spotfire enables business users to customize their own work and analyze the metrics themselves. By empowering the business users directly, companies can save time and money, while simultaneously ensuring that changes in the business process performance can be identified and acted upon by the most appropriate people, in the most efficient manner.Due in large part to the faltering economy, BPM software is proving to be one of the hottest growing sectors in the enterprise IT market. According to Gartner, the BPM market will increase 5% over the next year. Companies that make the investment now in BPM will see better growth when the economy rebounds.The Tibco offering optimizes BPM software even more by making it a DIY product. Efficiencies are maximized and business managers get to make better customizations that in the long run could have a real effect on the bottom line.Disclosure: Tibco is a sponsor of the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit to be held October 15 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Ca. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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World Cup final: Dhoni may pick Sreesanth in place of Nehra

first_imgPacer S Sreesanth may be brought into the Indian team in place of injured Ashish Nehra for the summit clash against Sri Lanka in the World Cup cricket final in Mumbai on Saturday.Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also issued a veiled warning to the Sri Lankans saying the home team has not played to its fullest potential and “there is plenty to come” and was prepared to take on veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.With swing bowler Ashish Nehra virtually ruled out of the grand finale due to a multiple finger fracture he suffered in the semifinal clash against Pakistan, Dhoni appeared to indicate his preference in the toss up between S Sreesanth and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.”Ashish is most likely ruled out he’s got multiple fracture on one of his fingers,” he said adding that the choice could be between Sreesanth and Ashwin.”If you see the Mumbai track there’s a bit of pace and bounce for the seamers initially and there is a bit of reverse swing going. The third seamer can have an impact on the game.An extra seamer means I am able to manoeuvre the bowlers,” the skipper said at the pre-match press conference,” Dhoni said.The skipper, who had surprised everyone by keeping Ashwin out of the Mohali encounter after his good performance in two matches, said “With a spinner, if you have three spinners along with a part-timer you don’t have room for manoeuvre. But whatever opportunity Ashwin has got, irrespective of where he has fared, he has done really well.advertisement”We have confidence in him but we are not clear about whether to go with three seamers or two seamers and one extra spinner,” he said.Sreesanth had not played after the tournament opener on February 19 against Bangladesh at Mirpur, and asked how he can slip into his groove after such a lengthy absence from the middle, Dhoni said it can be done if one looked at tomorrow’s final as just another game.”Don’t look at it as the final but as another game. Sree has done well for us most of the games he has played, he has done well. He’s one character who can definitely swing the ball and get you early wickets. Choosing one individual over other is difficult but let’s hope whoever gets chosen will perform at his best,” he said.”Unfortunately, we have not been able to give him more chances to play. Even in the first game, he played I thought he did not bowl badly. After that we gave chances to other individuals which I think were needed at that point of time.It’s more about who suits the condition more. Let’s hope whoever plays just performs,” said Dhoni.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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Photo: Nebraska Students Will Wear #AveryStrong T-Shirts During Saturday’s Game vs. Michigan State

first_imgNebraska's #AveryStrong shirts.Saturday is #AveryStrong day for the Nebraska men’s basketball program. Avery Harriman, the 7-year-old son of Huskers’ assistant coach Chris Harriman, has battled leukemia since he was 2. He’s been an inspiration to Tim Miles’ team this season and the Huskers’ players are constantly interacting with their No. 1 fan. Saturday’s event will be part of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week. Chris Harriman says #Huskers players are constantly asking about Avery. “Its fun to see them be happy when hes doing well” #AveryStrong— Jake Bockoven (@jakebockoven) January 23, 2015Nebraska (11-7, 3-3 Big Ten) is set to host Michigan State (13-6, 4-2 Big Ten) in Lincoln Saturday. During the game, the Huskers’ students will be wearing #AveryStrong T-shirts. First 1,500 students. #GBR “@HuskerSports: Getting the shirts in place for #AveryStrong tomorrow. #Huskers” pic.twitter.com/SpUsRoHGml— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) January 23, 2015Nebraska and Michigan State are set to tip off at 4 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on ESPN.last_img read more

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Mississippi State Releases Awesome “Relentless” Hype Video

first_imgA Mississippi State player scores a touchdown over an LSU defender.Mississippi State Hype VideoMississippi State suffered a tough loss to Georgia Tech in last year’s Orange Bowl, but all in all, the Bulldogs had a great season. MSU opened the 2014 campaign with nine straight victories, including wins over LSU, Auburn and Arkansas, before falling in a close contest to Alabama. The Bulldogs, in early November, were the No. 1 ranked team in the country. And they posted double-digit victories for just the second time in their program’s history.The 2015 Bulldogs aren’t being picked by many to be quite as successful, but with star quarterback Dak Prescott returning, they may surprise a few people. Thursday, the school released an awesome hype video titled “Relentless” to tease the 2015 campaign. Enjoy, MSU fans:last_img

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Winless since 08 just how bad is Eastern Michigan football

A national football powerhouse such as Ohio State expects to win every game. This is a stark difference from the aura that surrounds the Eastern Michigan program. The Eagles have lost 15 straight games. In the time since Eastern Michigan’s last victory, Barack Obama was inaugurated, LeBron James “took his talents to South Beach” and the Jersey Shore became a popular tourist site. The last time OSU lost consecutive games was in 2004, when they lost to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa. That was the last season in which OSU did not play in a BCS bowl game. Safety Tyler Moeller doesn’t care that Eastern Michigan has not won since Nov. 28, 2008.      “Any team can beat us any day,” Moeller said. “Ohio University proved that in 2008. They gave us a great game. We need to play our game every week and not let go of the throttle.” Are the Eastern Michigan Eagles really as bad as they seem? The team is led by senior linebackers Neal Howey and Tim Fort, who are both in the top five in tackles in the Mid-American Conference. Second-year coach Ron English, former defensive coordinator at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, leads a team that is predominately underclassmen. “He knows us better than his players know us, having been on Lloyd’s staff for all those years, coaching the secondary there at Michigan, and he knew the challenge when he took over,” said OSU coach Jim Tressel. Five of Eastern Michigan’s 15 consecutive losses have come in games decided by a touchdown or less. The Eagles’ losing streak is currently second behind Western Kentucky’s 23-game drought. Despite the disparity in team success, the message in the OSU locker room is quite simple. “We can’t have any letdowns,” defensive end Cameron Heyward said. read more

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Baseball Ohio State returns home to face Cincinnati

Ohio State redshirt senior pitcher Thomas Waning (14) prepares to throw a pitch during the game against Hawaii on March 23. Ohio State won 7-5. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State baseball team will return to Bill Davis Stadium, the place where the Buckeyes have won seven of nine games in 2019, after beginning its Big Ten season against Rutgers on the road. On Wednesday, Cincinnati (10-16, 3-3 American Athletic) will take its struggling offense up against an Ohio State (16-12, 2-1 Big Ten) pitching staff that has been in a groove. The Bearcats are coming off a series loss to Tulane at home, in which Cincinnati was outscored 33-12 throughout the three-game series. Averaging 3.96 runs per game, the Bearcats have had trouble keeping up with opponents. The low run average can partially be explained by the team’s low batting average. Cincinnati has hit .227 as a team, with only one player hitting above .265. Cincinnati junior shortstop Joey Bellini leads the team with a .292 batting average. Bellini has started 17 games for the Bearcats, and is tied for sixth on the team with seven RBI. Cincinnati does not have the power to make up for its insufficient hitting. With only 11 home runs on the season, the Bearcats struggle to tally runs in quick fashion. The Bearcats do excel, however, in their ability to steal bases. With 48 stolen bags on the season, the Bearcats rank in the top 50 in the nation. Cincinnati redshirt junior center fielder Jeremy Johnson and junior second baseman Jace Mercer have combined for 25 stolen bases. Mercer also leads the team with 21 walks on the year. The Buckeyes have caught only seven of the 30 baserunners that have attempted stealing this season. Junior pitcher Jake Vance will likely receive the start Wednesday. Vance has allowed four steals on the season, the most of any Ohio State starter. Ohio State sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler has the arm to keep the Bearcats honest. The co-captain has thrown out 3 of 4 runners who have tried to steal on him. After allowing 15 runs in a loss to Hawaii, Ohio State has allowed only 12 runs in the past four games. In this same stretch, the pitchers have combined to strike out 40 batters. Cincinnati’s pitching has not been as successful, allowing 5.77 runs a game. Despite striking out more than eight batters a game, the Bearcats walk an average of 5.69 batters per contest.Ohio State will take on Cincinnati at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

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