Ireland-based United Drug – which also adopted the new moniker UDG Healthcare this week – has regrouped its clinical and commercial packaging, serialisation, design formulation and printing businesses as Sharp Packaging Services.
The new organisation is made up of the established Sharp Packaging Solutions unit and Sharp Clinical Services business, which was formed last year after UDG acquired the Bilcare’s US and UK trial supply operations.
The rebranding fits with the effort UDG has made to expand its contract packaging business as part of a wider diversification drive begun in 2011 in response to the global economic downturn. The firm told Outsourcing-pharma.com that the work is starting to pay off.
“The Packaging Division accounts for 24% of UDG Healthcare’s profits…We are global leaders in providing unique and innovative commercial and clinical trials packaging, in particular our serialisation solutions.
The firm added that: “We are number two in the commercial packaging space and have a growing provider in the clinical trials area.”
Asian clinical packaging expansion
Another driver for the rebranding move is a desire to capture a greater share of the contract packaging market in Asia according to UDG, which told us the idea is to build on existing relationships with customers already selling drugs in the region and attract new business.
“We are already working with a number of customers within Asia and are in active discussions with commercial packaging organisations regarding potential partnerships or acquisition opportunities within that market. In addition our clinical trials business is actively looking into the Asian market.”
Jobs and contracts
Quite how the rebranding move will impact existing employees of UDG’s packaging businesses in the UK, US, Belgium and the Netherlands is unclear.
When asked whether it would retain existing staff UDG told us “The name change is a great opportunity for our employees to take advantage of global opportunities" and said it will “help us to attract new employees and contracts to our business as we continue to grow and invest in what we believe to be an area of opportunity for high growth."
We asked for clarification were told that the global opportunities are "both between different business units within Sharp Packaging Services and the different regions within the business units. It will not affect any existing contracts.”
UDG confirmed that existing contracts with existing customers of its packaging business would not impacted by the rebranding.