Indian pharma opens new plant in SA

3 September 2010

Indian pharmaceutical firm Ranbaxy Laboratories has opened a US$30-million (about R215-million) state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, the Be-Tabs Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Plant, in Roodeport to the west of Johannesburg.

The facility, Ranbaxy’s second in SA and third in Africa, will manufacture analgesics, cold, cough and flu preparations, as well as a comprehensive range of over-the-counter medication.

The facility was opened this week by Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Indian High Commissioner to SA Virendra Gupta and representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry.

“Ranbaxy has a long-standing relationship with Africa. We were the first Indian pharmaceutical company to set up a manufacturing facility in Nigeria, in the late 1970s,” Ranbaxy MD Arun Sawhney said at the launch. “Over the years, we have established a strong presence in 43 of the 54 African countries with the aim of providing quality medicines and improving access.

“The opening of this new manufacturing facility further emphasises our commitment towards the African continent and South Africa in particular.”

Future expansion possible

The new facility is equipped with the latest technology and meets international specifications. It is designed to meet local regulatory requirements and also World Health Organisation standards.

The design of the new facility is determined by the current tablet and capsule production requirements, and the plant is capable of producing approximately 1.75-billion units and packaging of two-billion units, annually. Possible expansion could bring about the addition of new products.

“The capacity to manufacture locally will meet the South African government’s intention to strengthen the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and is expected to further the company’s aim of becoming a more significant provider of pharmaceuticals to the state,” said Ranbaxy South Africa CEO Saxen van Coller.

Affordable generic medicines

Ranbaxy South Africa, headquartered in Centurion, is engaged in the sale and distribution of generic prescription products in the South African healthcare system.

The company also offers high-quality, affordable, generic anti-retroviral medicines to needy patients in Africa, supporting African governments in their efforts to control the HIV/Aids epidemic.

Ranbaxy Laboratories is India’s largest pharmaceutical company, and is majority-owned by Japanese global pharmaceutical major Daiichi Sankyo Group.

SAinfo reporter

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