Spanish pharmaceutical company Lacer has unveiled a new investment programme at a plant in Barcelona that will dramatically increase its production capacity.
The hike will provide additional capacity for both the company's in-house products and for the contract manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals for customers, according to local press reports. Lacer is among the top Spanish suppliers of cardiovascular medications.
Spain still has a somewhat embryonic generics market, with no real impetus coming behind the use of these drugs until 2000 and the entry into force of a system of reference prices. This means that Spain remains a small market for generics compared to the UK or Germany, for example, although it is growing fast. Lacer is one company that has been at the forefront of supplying generics to the Spanish market, and has also won customers internationally.
The company has invested upwards of €30 million at its manufacturing site in Barcelona, and aims to quadruple output from 30m to 120m dosage units a year by the middle of next year.
The company would not be drawn on the impact of the investment on its revenues, around 60 per cent of which comes from pharmaceuticals. It is currently forecasting sales of around €134 million this year, about the same level as in 2003 but reduced from earlier forecasts to the tune of around €18 million.
The reason for the shortfall is the impact of Spain's new reference pricing system, which has cut the prices of its products dramatically, in some cases by as much as 70 per cent.