Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eli Lilly announces commitment to increase insulin production capacity in Puerto Rico and around the world

Eli Lilly and Company, operating in Puerto Rico since 1965, will invest more than $700 million to enhance its global insulin manufacturing capacity in the Island, as well as in France, China and Indianapolis, home to Lilly's global headquarters. Lilly's manufacturing commitment for the past year now totals more than $1 billion in planned investments, a response to the growing diabetes epidemic and thus increasing demand for insulin around the world.

Nearly half of the $1 billion investment will be used to improve Indianapolis sites, where Lilly has been manufacturing insulin since it introduced the first commercially available insulin product in 1923.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)—which today released the latest diabetes prevalence numbers—diabetes is a significant and growing global problem, with high and increasing costs to society and to individuals. The IDF also noted that all types of diabetes are on the rise, with the number of people with type 2 diabetes increasing most dramatically.[i]

"Insulin is a cornerstone of diabetes treatment and its use will only continue to increase given the rising number of people with diabetes around the world," said Enrique Conterno, senior vice president and president, Lilly Diabetes. "Since introducing the first commercially available insulin 90 years ago, Lilly has helped address the global diabetes burden, and today's announcement further underscores our deep commitment to diabetes care."

In addition to committing to investments in manufacturing, the company is investing heavily in diabetes research. Lilly currently has 14 new molecular entities in clinical development, including three under regulatory review and another in Phase III, for the treatment of diabetes and related complications.

The new manufacturing investments will support both existing and future insulin-based medicines and are as follows:

  • France – $120 million to enhance insulin cartridge manufacturing capacity
  • Indianapolis and Puerto Rico – $245 million to expand insulin-active-ingredient and delivery device manufacturing capacity
  • China – $350 million to expand insulin cartridge manufacturing capacity

The commitment to expand insulin production in China is the latest in a series of diabetes-related investments in this part of the world, such as the opening of the Lilly China Research and Development Center in Shanghai last year. According to the IDF, there are almost 100 million people in China with diabetes, with as many as three-quarters of them not having adequate control of their disease.

"Our ongoing investment in China will help Lilly bring medicines to the country with the largest population of people with diabetes—and which is projected to rise to more than 142 million by 2035," said Jacques Tapiero, senior vice president and president, Lilly Emerging Markets.

Prior to today's announcement, Lilly recently communicated insulin-related commitments in Indianapolis totaling $320 million to expand insulin-active-ingredient and drug product manufacturing capacity, as well as an additional $80 million in ancillary projects. Together, these announcements bring the total commitment over the past year to more than $1 billion, which will be invested over the next several years.

New Report Quantifies the State of Diabetes Globally
The incidence of diabetes is increasing around the world: 382 million adults around the world have diabetes, and this number is projected to rise to 592 million over the next 25 years. In 2013, 5 million people died from complications of diabetes. The economic cost is alarming: $548 billion spent worldwide in 2013, representing 11 percent of the total health care expenditures. This number is projected to increase 14 percent by 2035.

Eli Lilly Puerto Rico

Governor García Padilla said that despite the fact that there is no commitment from the company to increase the local workforce, it is estimated that construction efforts for the expansion could create 400 jobs. Once the expansion is finished, up to 100 indirect jobs could be created.

María Crowe, a Lilly executive, added that "this investment will increase our manufacturing capacity, at the time that it will provide employment opportunities and require specialized services during the construction phase."

Lilly's announcement joins the ones from other multinationals such as Covidien, Cooper Vision, Bristol Myers y General Electric.

In Puerto Rico,  the pharmaceutical has approximately 1,600 employees.  Cymbalta®, Cialis®, Evista®, Strattera®, Symbyax®, Zyprexa®, Humalog®, Forteo® and Humatrope® are some of its products manufactured locally.


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