News Feature | December 11, 2014

Three Pharma Companies Collaborate To Find Manufacturing Productivity Solutions

By Suzanne Hodsden

CSL, Hospira, and GlaxoSmithKline will collaborate on a new manufacturing project, which hopes to generate solutions to productivity issues at a select number of Australian manufacturing sites. The project aims to boost productivity by 3 percent and yield a cost-savings of over $2.4 million, Manufacturing Excellence Taskforce Australia (META) announced.

META is a network of manufacturers and researchers at work improving the efficiency and global competitiveness and growth in Australian’s manufacturing sector. The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported that manufacturing is responsible for a quarter of Australia’s research and development investment.

Zoran Angelkovski, managing director of META, explained, “This is META’s first productivity focused manufacturing project identified by the pharmaceutical industry to ensure benefits from the supply-chain optimization expertise can be leveraged to deliver major productivity improvements across a number of Australian pharmaceutical sites.”

The first site to engage in the project will be Hospira’s Mulgrave site in Victoria which currently handles the manufacture of a portion of Hospira’s injectable pharma products.

Angelkovski remarked that the project would allow competitive companies share their information for the benefit of the entire industry.

Philip Leslie from GlaxoSmithKline added, “This collaborative approach to continuous improvement is the way forward for Australian manufacturers who want to be globally competitive. We can all learn something from the way each of us operates and avoid trying to re-invent the wheel. This way we can increase our efficiency which will in turn see us being able to compete in the world market.”

The University of Melbourne (UM) plans to partner in the META project, and several UM post-doctoral experts will lend their research to each company’s developing strategy.

In September, META announced the launch of a Deregulation Hub, which aims to reduce regulatory burden on Australian pharmaceutical companies by creating an agenda to help the Australian government streamline its regulation process. The project hopes to reduce that burden by 30 percent.

META’s productivity project is expected to finish by the end of this year.