There has been a flurry of activity in the pharmaceutical industry lately: Pfizer spun-out it's animal health division into Zoetis, Abbott spun-out it's branded drug-making unit into AbbVie, and AstraZeneca recently changed its chief executive. Merck (NYSE:MRK) has been the exception, and has really stuck to a classic R&D structure, with some business diversification.

But that could slowly start to change.

Today, Merck announced an executive reshuffle that will see a new person head up the company's global R&D efforts. Health-care analyst Max Macaluso discusses this change, and what it could mean for Merck's long-term strategic vision.