Actavis invests �13 million in new warehouse facilities

Pharmaceutical company Actavis Malta today unveiled its state-of-the-art new warehouse at the Bulebel Industrial Estate – signifying an investment of €13 million. The new investment was inaugurated by Prime Minsiter Joseph Muscat and Economy Minister Chris Cardona.

The company was in the news for all the wrong reasons back in 2013 after it had to close down its Research and Development section – and lay off 68 employees – following a merger with US giant Watson. But according to company Managing Director Sergio Vella said the company is doing well and is in line with the objectives and targets it had set out.

The 4,800 square meter structure has a storage capacity of 7,500 pallet positions and includes the use of solar thermal energy and hot water, lighting systems that are controlled according to occupancy and rain water harvesting systems.

The 750-strong company had to invest in bigger warehousing facilities because of a significant increase in the Bulebel site manufacturing output, where volume has practically tripled over the last 7 years.

Actavis develops and manufactures generic, brand, branded generic, legacy brands and Over-the-Counter pharmaceutical products and has commercial operations in approximately 60 countries.  

In the meantime, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that amendments to the Patent law will be presented in Parliament this evening. Dr Muscat said the 25% reduction in energy tariffs for industry – which will come into effect next year – will ensure a higher level of competitiveness for Maltese companies, but the government has gone a step further with these amendments. "They will encourage and sustain the pharmaceutical industry, especially companies that produce generic products. Applying for patent rights and safeguarding intellectual property will be made much easier for companies, making them more competitive."

Generic medicines are drugs that are produced under their chemical name after the original patent has expired.

"Back in the 90's this country introduces laws that attracted companies like Actavis and Arrowpharm to Malta. This government wanted to legislate again to facilitate manufacture operations in Malta. Companies that are already established in Malta will know that Malta is the place to be and other, international companies will be attracted to our shores. This is the way to cope with globalisation."

Economy Minister Chris Cardona said the amendments to the patent law were long overdue. "We listened to what the manufacturing industry was saying and we came up with these amendments in very short time." Dr Cardona said there will be a special "tribunal" to coordinate and oversee that patents are being registered and are beneficial t the Maltese economy, particularly to the pharmaceutical sector. "Our aim is to see this sector expand and create more jobs."