Merck inaugurates pharma packaging centre

New Darmstadt-based 15,000 m2 facility is dedicated to the packaging and shipping of Merck’s current portfolio of pharma medicines in more than 90 countries

Science and technology company Merck has inaugurated a new packaging centre at its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

The new 15,000 m2 facility will be dedicated to the packaging and shipping of Merck’s current portfolio of pharma medicines in more than 90 countries. The company said it will 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.

“Darmstadt is our prime hub for the manufacturing of medicines and it plays a key role in our plans for future growth. This latest investment in a new state-of-the-art packaging centre 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,” said Stefan Oschmann.

The packaging centre features eight fully automated packaging lines and robotised logistics. Merck said the site 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 & 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 centre is also designed to comply with the highest international standards in terms of quality, environment, health and safety," Merck said in a statement.

Merck also said the new pharma packaging centre represents an investment of €63 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 opening ceremony was attended by Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, as well as Stefan Grüttner, Minister of Social Affairs and Integration for the German Federal State of Hesse, and Jochen Partsch, Mayor of the City of Darmstadt.

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