The company said that its €2.4bn acquisition of the self-medication division of Swiss pharmaceuticals manufacturer Roche last year had expanded demand for aspirin, and as a result it had decided to boost capacity at Bayer Bitterfeld.
The announcement was made at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Aspirin production at the site, which has made 25 billion aspirin tablets since coming into operation.
The integration of the Roche OTC business means that a significant portion of the manufacturing requirement will fall to Bayer Bitterfeld, according to a Chemical Newsflash report.
To date, Bayer Bitterfeld has a turnover of around €600 million a year, with 80 per cent of production accounted for by Aspirin and also the stomach drugs Alka-Seltzer and Talcid. Over the past 10 years, total output has increased from approximately 1.6 billion to 4 billion tablets per year, and it now supplies every single Aspirin tablet sold in Europe.
The new expansion is the latest in a series of investments at Bitterfeld. In March 2004, a new technology centre was constructed to manufacture relatively small quantities of product. The granules for cold medication Aspirin Complex are mixed here and packed in portioned sachets, while Aspirin Protect tablets, used to prevent myocardial infarction and stroke, are film-coated at this centre.