JSE-listed Aspen, the pharmaceutical company, yesterday opened an anaesthetics production line at its Gqeberha-based flagship manufacturing site, as it ramps up its Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 output.
The company said this manufacturing capability will convert Aspen’s Gqeberha facility into one of the largest manufacturing hubs for general anaesthetic products in the world.
Department of Trade Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, officiating at the opening of the facility, said: “This facility consolidates the Eastern Cape as the most significant advanced pharmaceutical hub on the African continent and it will create local jobs...
“South Africa has to date imported the general anaesthetics needed in our healthcare system, and the new production line will provide an important medical product for the local market, assuring security of supply, and the bulk of it will be exported across the world, contributing to global patient support,” he said.
Stephen Saad, Aspen chief executive said, “The opening of our general anaesthetics manufacturing line is a significant milestone for Aspen as it will serve as a crucial anaesthetics hub for this critical medication... Our investment of more than R3 billion in this facility is the single largest investment in the pharmaceutical industry in the country, and aligns with our commitment to supporting the industrialisation of South Africa.”
The general anaesthetics production line extends Aspen’s sterile footprint. Sterile Focus Brands, comprising anaesthetic and thrombosis products, is one of Aspen’s key business segments and contributes 28 percent of revenue.
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