Industry minister Ian Macfarlane has inspected the progress at a line upgrade at Hospira’s Mulgrave plant, with the company proposing the minister initiate a taskforce on pharmaceutical manufacturing.
“Our continual investment in advanced technology has seen us grow to export medicines to more than 70 countries,” said Andrew Hodder, vice president of operations at Mulgrave, a site which employs 600.
“We do not receive and are not looking for handouts,” said Hodder. “But it is important for government policies reflect the challenges facing medicines manufacturing.”
Hodder suggested that the industry minister facilitate a medicines manufacturing taskforce, crossing several departments, to help address the issues faced by the industry.
These issues included medicines pricing and a recognition of the role of generic medicine manufacturing in Australia.
The current site upgrade, worth $15 million, is expected to be fully operational in March next year.
He said that the company has had to adapt to difficult changes within the local market and has cut its workforce.
Hospira is the maker of 15 per cent of the sterile, injectable medicines and 100 per cent of the morphine used in Australian hospitals, is investing $15 million in the expansion. It is, by volume, the largest such company in Australia.