MONROE – Union County Commissioner Frank Aikmus said Monroe said yes to drugs.
But that is a good thing for Monroe and Union County as global drug-maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals celebrated the official inauguration of its factory in Monroe.
“Back in the 1980s, Nancy Reagan said, ‘say no to drugs.’ Well, I’m proud here in Monroe and Union County we say yes to drugs,” Aikmus joked. “I’m especially proud to be here to celebrate this inaugural event. Not only does the work they do here impact the lives of the 140 people that work here in Union County, but the work they do is far-reaching across the world. Thank you for your dedication to your fellow man.”
Aikmus, company officials and other local civic leaders celebrated the inauguration of the Glenmark manufacturing site Oct. 30 with a ribbon cutting, tour of the plant and lunch for employees and invited guests. The Monroe plant, which is near the city’s airport, is the first manufacturing site for Glenmark in the United States. The company anticipates the site will grow well beyond its current 140 employees. Glenmark is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Charlotte region.
At more than 100,000 square feet, the Monroe Glenmark plant will manufacture a variety of fixed dose pharmaceutical formulations. Glenmark has invested more than $100 million into the Monroe plant and has plans for further expansion in the coming years. The current facility is located in a spec building that was developed by the city.
“Monroe is a prime location for all types of companies,” Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore said. “That program (spec buildings) has proved very successful over the years.”
At peak capacity, Glenmark-Monroe will produce 300-400 million tablets and capsules, 20-25 million vials and pre-filled syringes and 25-30 million ampoules for inhaled formulations. Globally, Glenmark has 16 factories spread across four continents operating under Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure quality and safety, nine of which are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Glenmark first started plans for the Monroe plant back in 2014. Last June, Glenmark received its first U.S. Food and Drug Administration go-ahead to market one of its North Carolina-made drugs in the United States.
“Glenmark is the best kept secret outside of Monroe,” said Bob Matsuk, who is president, North America and Global API at Glenmark. “It’s been a long journey, but an incredible one. We started here with four people. We are now up to a 140 people. We recently received our first approval ,and we will start manufacturing in the near future. It’s been an effort by a number of people to make this a success. We have a commitment to long-term growth and expansion in North Carolina and are thankful for the mutual support from our community partners in helping realize those goals. None of this would have been possible without everyone’s cooperation.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr praised Glenmark for picking the state for its newest factory.
“North Carolina is a high-growth state that continues to attract innovative companies from all over the globe,” Burr said. “Our world-class research universities, skilled workforce and vibrant local communities make this the perfect place to conduct cutting-edge research and invest in high-tech jobs.”