The pharmaceutical company said it "could reach different decisions" about the businesses.
Merck's comments follow reports last week that the company is in talks with Novartis about the Swiss pharmaceuticals company swapping its animal-health and human vaccines businesses for the U.S. drug maker's over-the-counter health-products unit. (PR)
As part of a plan announced in October, Merck expects to cut annual operating costs by $2.5B by the end of 2015 vs 2012, with $1B to be realized by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Merck has started the process of applying for approval of its MK-3475 immunotherapy for patients with advanced melanoma who have stopped responding to Bristol-Myer Squibb's (BMY) Yervoy. Merck expects to complete the initial filing this year. (PR)