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SHL: Auto Injectors Drive Further Expansion at Taiwan Plant

By Dan Stanton , 25-Feb-2013
Last updated on 26-Feb-2013 at 12:32 GMT

SHL expand Taiwanese plant focusing on auto injectors
SHL expand Taiwanese plant focusing on auto injectors

SHL says the prevalence of injectable drugs will drive auto injectors as it ramps up its Taiwanese production plant.

Scandinavian Health Limited (SHL) is investing $40m (€30.3m) into its facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan. The company develops and manufactures a range of drug delivery devices for pharma companies including a series of auto injectors which have been described in a press release as a key driver in the expansion.

Marketing Director at SHL, Steven Kaufman, explained to in-Pharmatechnologist.com the continuous investment in the technology. He said: “Auto injectors have become more of a mainstay product in the last five years and with the growing number of injectable drugs coming to market it just makes sense.”

He continued, adding: “Clearly the demand will continue to increase and device designers, developers and manufacturers, such as SHL, must expand operations, attract more professionals and of course, continue to innovate.”

SHL could not single out an individual company that further drove expansion but instead says they are working with the majority of the top biopharma companies and intends to broaden its service offerings.

Taiwan Growth & Jobs

The expansion will also lead to new jobs at the plant with SHL declaring several hundred new staff will be employed this year with the figure intending to rise in 2014.

The company declared last August it would be hiring over 600 new employees, mainly at the Taiwanese manufacturing facilities but also at the company’s assembly site in Florida, US and the design centre in Stockholm, Sweden.

Five years ago SHL, in a letter of intent to the Taiwanese Government, pledged to invest $100m. This latest expansion sees them surpass the total as Asia continues to push demand for drug delivery products.

Kaufman said: “The Asia market will grow in coming years and with our manufacturing hub here in the heart of Asia, we will be well suited to take advantage of our location.”

Needles Becoming Needless

For years the industry has been searching for viable alternatives to needle injections to administer drugs. Problems with traditional methods include safety and convenience which products like auto injectors and injector pens can offset.

Biogen Idec and Merck Serono have both developed delivery alternatives in order to counter the shrinking demand for injectables in delivery of multiple sclerosis drugs.

Furthermore, Eli Lilly has recently pushed expansion at Rexam’s French plant as demand grows for its insulin pen as diabetes and hyperglycaemia sufferers continue to search for better ways to administer insulin.

Kaufman concluded that the trend was not region specific and that alternative technology will continue to rise in popularity and continue to lead innovation.

"Each market has adopted new drug delivery device technologies such as auto injectors at a different pace and with unique preferences, but the trend is clear, with the introduction of so many injectables, devices such as pen injectors and auto injectors are going to be used by an increasing number of patients throughout the world."

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