Morison PLC, the largest oral solid dosage pharmaceutical manufacturer in Sri Lanka and a subsidiary of Hemas Holdings PLC, ceremonially opened their new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and research & development facility in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday.
Several Cabinet ministers and dignitaries also graced the event as special guests, including Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi; State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Channa Jayasumana; State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Minister Dr. Seetha Arambepola and Secretary to Minister of Trade Dr. Sunil Navaratne. Located within the Sri Lanka Nano Technology Park in Pitipana, Homagama this is the second manufacturing facility of Morison PLC. The factory is ready to commence validation batches and is expected to start commercial production early next year, supporting the government’s aim to manufacture essential medicines locally.
Morison is committed to increase access of high quality, affordable medicines to all Sri Lankans and enables it with the new plant, with a capacity to supply over 20% of Sri Lanka’s tablet needs. A pioneer in the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals, Morison’s new facility with an investment of USD 18.5 million reaches a major milestone in Sri Lanka, being the first European Union-Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) compliant oral solid dosage manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the ceremony, Murtaza Esufally, Managing Director, Morison PLC said, “The launch of the new state-of the-art manufacturing facility marks a new era for Morison PLC, continuing our 80-year long mission to offer the highest quality products at affordable prices. This investment is supported through the guaranteed buy-back agreements that will help us to build economies of scale and be more competitive in global markets. Continued government support will enable us create a stronger footprint in exports and begin contract manufacture partnerships with global pharma companies, helping Sri Lanka earn valuable foreign exchange as we look to the future.”
GMP compliance requires that medicines are of consistent high quality and are appropriate for their intended use. EU GMP is an essential requirement to be a credible pharmaceutical manufacturer and exporter to global, regulated markets.
“We at Morison continue to look forward to delivering the highest quality products by partnering with global pharmaceutical leaders, with whom Hemas is privileged to have strong, legacy relationships. We will explore this new phase of growth in conformance with global protocols and regulations, through the formulation of new products and the development of opportunities in new markets”, Esufally continued. “Our partnership with SLINTEC will advance our strides in formulation research through the deployment of nano and advanced technology” he added.
Morison produces 75 different formulations of medicine and intends to grow that portfolio in the coming years to address Sri Lanka’s growing medicinal needs, especially in the sphere of non-communicable diseases. Its new plant has an annual production capacity of 5 billion tablets and 10 million bottles of medicine working at peak capacity on double shift, and aims to improve employment opportunities with the creation of 250 skilled jobs. The strength of the factory lies not only in its manufacturing capabilities. It also lies in its ability to create more skilled jobs and uplift the Homagama community through exposure of pharmaceutical sciences to the schools in the area and by working with higher educational institutions for internships and joint research.
The new plant is designed for minimum human intervention to prevent human error and includes cutting edge equipment such as the fully automated liquid manufacturing and packing lines, fully-fledged chemical and microbiology labs, separate air handling units to control environment conditions and is a also equipped with Enterprise Resource Planning software. The plant also has the first zero liquid discharge waste water systems in the country.