Merck recently celebrated the opening of its new packaging center at the science and technology company’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.
“Darmstadt is our prime hub for the manufacturing of medicines and it plays a key role in our plans for future growth,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck. “This latest investment in a new state-of-the-art packaging center reflects our commitment to our headquarters and is a compelling example of how we use the latest technological advances to always better serve our patients.”
The new 161,458-square-foot facility will be dedicated to the packaging and shipping of Merck’s current portfolio of pharma medicines in more than 90 countries and help meet increasing patient needs for flagship medicines Glucophage®, Concor® and Euthyrox® in the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and thyroid disorders respectively. It will also provide capacity for potential future pharma products currently in clinical development such as evobrutinib in the area of neurology-immunology or tepotinib in the area of oncology.
With its eight fully automated packaging lines and robotized logistics, the new packaging center will have the capacity to process more than 210 million boxes of medicines every year. It is designed to incorporate a broad range of new technologies such as the tracking and tracing of medicines to prevent counterfeit, or smart packaging to ensure more flexibility to adapt the production of medicines to patient demand. The new packaging center is also designed to comply with the highest international standards in terms of quality, environment, health and safety.
The new pharma packaging center represents an investment of $73 million over the 2015-2018 period and is part of a wider $1 billion investment up to 2020 transforming the Darmstadt site into contemporary global headquarters.
“The new production facility in Darmstadt is a gratifying commitment to this location,” said Stefan Grüttner, Minister of Social Affairs and Integration for the German Federal State of Hesse. “That Merck is continuing to invest in the place where the company was born 350 years ago and creating new jobs in the process is a good sign for the region. With this investment, Merck is contributing substantially to the great density of innovative and high-performing companies in Hessen.”