Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, opened a facility in Hangzhou, China to package Merck medicines for China and the Asia Pacific region, announced the company in an April 16, 2013 press release. The facility, a nearly $120-million investment by Merck, is located in the Hangzhou Economic and Technology Area (HEDA).
Merck also has an R&D Center in Beijing, three manufacturing facilities throughout the country, a marketing and sales organization headquartered in Shanghai, and employs more than 5000 employees in China. The healthcare system in China is growing rapidly, notes the company. In 2011, Merck established its Asia R&D headquarters in Beijing and committed to invest more than $1.5 billion in R&D in China over the next five years.
The new 75,000-m2 facility is capable of holding up to 16 high-speed lines to package pharmaceutical tablets and sterile Merck medicines that are used to manage diabetes, cardiovascular, infectious, respiratory, and bone diseases. Packaging capacity is currently estimated at more than 300 million packages annually. Products used in Merck’s clinical studies and in its commercial activities to support future new product launches also will be packaged at the new HEDA plant. The HEDA facility received a cGMP certification in January 2013. The facility was constructed with consideration for the environment; special air, waste, and water-management procedures and systems were built into the facility, notes the company.