'The demand for our product is growing'
- Ron Van Dijk
MD, West Pharmaceutical Services-APAC
NYSE-listed West Pharmaceutical Services (WPS) provides standard-setting systems and device components for parenterally administered medicines. WPS applies proprietary materials science, formulation research and manufacturing innovation to advance the quality, therapeutic value, development speed and rapid market availability of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.
The company has shifted focus to provide greater support to its Asia
Pacific customers. Some excerpts from an interview with
Ron van Dijk, Managing Director and Vice President, WPC, for the Asia Pacific region.
How would you describe the demand of your products in Asia Pacific?
Asia Pacific is home to about half of the world's population and there is an increasing local demand for pharmaceuticals. As far as injectable pharmaceutical manufacturing goes, global manufacturers are setting up facilities in Asia, local manufacturers are increasingly becoming cGMP compliant and all seek the support of a reliable supplier of quality pharmaceutical closures. WPS is a partner to these manufacturers and supports the pharmaceutical growth in Asia Pacific.
The demand for our products is growing significantly in Asia Pacific and our challenge is to continue to support customers with our expertise built over many years in achieving their local and global goals.
Who are your big clients?
WPS is servicing a wide spectrum of customers, ranging from new domestic manufacturers to multinationals. Some of the major manufacturers served in the Asia Pacific region are Serum Institute of India, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Biocon, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Sino-Swede Pharmaceutical Corporation, GE Healthcare, B Braun, Becton Dickinson, Baxter Healthcare, PT Biofarma, LG Lifesciences and Mayne Pharma (now being part of Hospira).
What is the capacity of the product facility in Singapore?
The production capacity is very much dependent on the product range. We manufacture a wide range of product in different designs and sizes, and the product range changes yearly (up to a few billion units per annum).
What are your plans for the Singapore operations?
I am pleased with the existing infrastructure in Singapore. The WPS Singapore operation will initially service as a hub to expand our initiatives throughout the Asia Pacific region. We also plan to further develop the WPS Singapore facility to produce more value added products to assist manufacturers in this region in meeting the regulations internationally.
We are therefore starting an expansion program for the WPS Singapore facility in which the production capacity will be increased. We are investing into a plant extension, new equipment and are recruiting additional employees to support the growth we experience. All these initiatives will enable us to play a major role in supporting the pharmaceutical industry in Asia Pacific.
Which markets do you address from your Singapore plant?
Our WPS Singapore facility supplies most of the products to the Asia Pacific region. Although we supply some products to the US and Europe, the percentage is decreasing as WPS Singapore is focusing to support customers in the Asia Pacific markets.
Do you have any expansion plans anywhere else in Asia?
Yes, last year the WPS Corporation announced an investment of $80 million to establish two manufacturing facilities in China, which will be completed by 2011. We will continue to review appropriate investment initiatives in other countries in the future in order to support the growing demand for pharmaceutical closures in this region.