Merck is eliminating 1,800 sales jobs nationwide, but then adding 960 positions to a new chronic-care sales force, the company said. "It's a net change of about 1,000 jobs," said Merck spokeswoman Tracy Ogden.  "We do not know at this time how many positions may be local, however, the affected 1,800 positions are spread throughout the country."

When the reorganization is completed, Merck will have more than 12,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, including 3,000 in research and another 3,000 in manufacturing. "Due to the location of its corporate campuses and its research and manufacturing facilities at West Point, Merck has more employees in Pennsylvania than any other state," the company said.

Merck's manufacturing plant in West Point is the drug maker's largest manufacturing site. Merck is the largest private sector employer in Montgomery County and the 14th largest in the state.