The US-headquartered pharma giant is investing BRL 15m ($6.4m) over the next two years to redevelop its Sao Paolo manufacturing facility.
“As part of our recapitalization plan, we are replacing two of our blister-pack machines with the latest-generation, state-of-the-art technology,” Lilly spokesman Andrew McLaughlin told in-Pharmatechnologist.com, adding the firm was also “optimizing layout and improving control systems in other lines.”
He continued: “These investments will increase our productivity,” adding they “will help our site continue supporting our sales affiliate for future growth.”
According to Brazilian publication Gestao Farma, the site currently makes 10 million packages a year and this investment will increase this capacity significantly to serve the local market.
“The Brazilian production plant is prepared to meet the needs of the country in which it operates demonstrating that Brazil is one of the focus markets of the company,” Jose Eduardo Fuxa, Manufacturing Director of Eli Lilly in Brazil told the publication.
The site is Lilly’s only facility in Brazil and - according to its website – it makes some drugs in their entirety (such as Cialis, Evista, and Zyprexa), whilst also producing the packaging for imported products intended for the local market and some neighbouring South American countries.
Lilly previously invested over BRL 42m in the site between 2002 and 2007.
For packaging, there are examples of Lilly using third parties – such as Rexam – but for manufacturing the company has been vocal on investing in its own capacities.
Recent investments of $700m into its own facilities have been driven by its intention to focus on the “growing diabetes epidemic” and in November McLaughlin told this publication it had no intention to outsource, for insulin at least.
“We have built up significant internal capability in insulin manufacturing and believe we can leverage this more effectively than using third parties,” he said.