Merck & Co will restructure the organisation into five main divisions after it completes its $41.1-billion merger with Schering-Plough, which is due to close in the fourth quarter.

The five units will be Global Human Health, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck Manufacturing, Animal Health and Consumer Health Care. The “organisational structure for the new Merck is designed to capture the opportunities in the broader and deeper in-line pharmaceutical franchises that will be created” through the merger, the company said.

Merck chief executive Richard Clark also remarked that "to complement our joint talent, we will be adding leaders from outside the two companies with specific experience in key areas." The firm added that about 40% of S-P's “senior leaders will be part of the newly-combined company in executive roles” and “a substantial majority” of S-P employees will remain with the combined group.

Additionally, "four of the top leaders from Schering-Plough Research Institute will hold leadership positions…in senior preclinical, clinical and licensing roles". Merck added that the combined company “intends to maintain the continuity of key late-stage development programmes” from S-P.