28 July 2014 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
India is our biggest market in APAC: West Pharma
Mr Warwick Bedwell, president, APAC, West Pharmaceutical Services
The plant is said to be constructed with an investment of $15 Million, which has been in the making for the last two years, since 2012. The facility will produce seals used in primary packaging of injectable medicines. West also revealed that in future it plans to expand its production at the same site to include its elastomer component business.
Mr Warwick Bedwell, president - APAC, West Pharmaceutical Services, exclusively spoke to BioSpectrum on the occasion. Excerpts:
Q: Can you tell us about the new manufacturing facility in Chennai?
We have been in business for 90 years in the US and we are the largest global supplier of primary packaging for injectable medicines components in APAC.
This is our fourth plant in the APAC, and we have 30 plants globally. This plant will be involved in 100 percent exports, and employing 45 professionals.
Besides India, we also have a plant in Singapore inaugurated in 1993, and 2 plants in Qingpu, China, inaugurated in 2009 and 2012 respectively, in the APAC region.
We have invested USD 15 million towards this new facility. The plant will be able to produce 1.6 billion components annually by 2018. This facility center will be a center of excellence for seal production used in primary packaging of injectable medicines for APAC. This is a high volume business.
Companies wishing to manufacture medicines in India, especially MNCs like Hospira, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's and other major pharma companies in India. We'll also produce elastomer components in the next 5 years.
The growth in the APAC is growing about 12-13percent. And it is fairly a large market. For us, India has the largest market share and revenue strength in the APAC region. India exports about $15 billion worth medicines globally. We chose it mainly because of the availability of land, labor, utilities, logistics and financial viability.
Q: Who are your competitors?
In India, we have small scale industries in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, manufacturing components for injectable medicines packaging. Hence, we do not have intense competition.
Q: Can you compare India and China's performance for West?
Both India and China's performance have been good, however, India's performance has been exceptionally well. India is the biggest market in the APAC region. It is now serving as a hot hub for CMOs and MNCs. Soon, all our four major plants in the APAC region will become a hub for manufacturing all our components.
Q: Are you open to collaborations?
We are open to innovation and innovation doesn't always come from inside. We have a history of acquiring companies and bring in new products for patients.
Q: With this new facility how do you intend to expand?
We are already in Singapore and China. We don't intend to build another plant at this point. Instead, we'll aim to expand in India. There is plenty of space here in our new facility, measuring about 72,000 sq meters.
Q: What are the key trends that you see in the injectables packaging business?
It is definitely showing a good growth around the world. Most biologics and hospitals need injectable medicines. The global pharmaceutical industry manufactures products that are much more than normal solid dosage forms. Especially, Oncology and insulin products are mostly injectables. Hence the market is growing twice as fast as the solid dosage forms.
Q: Overall, how has the market performed for West in the APAC?
Mostly the performance depends on the market where we are. We are the largest supplier globally and in India. Overall, we are the only company in this business that has a footprint that covers all of the APAC region.
Q: According to you, what are the major industry challenges?
Affordability and access to medicines to patients is the primary challenge. Quality is also another issue. Pharmaceuticals products should not only be efficacious but also safe at the same time.