PETERSBURG, Va. – Pharmaceutical companies are changing the landscape in Petersburg, Virginia. In fact, officials estimate three of the drug companies will be providing more than 600 jobs to the area by 2024.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham said location was a key reason Civica Rx decided to build in the historic city.
"We can drive anywhere on the East Coast in less than a day," Civica CEO Martin Van Trieste said.
The investment by Civica and the other two pharmaceutical plants mean big business for the city.
"This is the biggest economic development activity we've had in Petersburg in over 40 years,” Mayor Sam Parham said.
Van Trieste said Civica will be able to reduce the cost of making medications through innovation.
"Civica has a vision, that if they can capture the vision, they can cut the cost by 90%, and so that's going to be good for patients,” Kaine said.
"We're committed to driving the cost down and we're committed to making things in the United States,” Stan Benson, Civica’s VP for site operations, said. “And we're committed to supplying drugs that are on the Drug Shortage List."
This is the first manufacturing facility for Civica, which is a non-profit that currently offers 60 different medications. It will be located next to the AMPAC Fine Chemicals facilityon N. Normandy Drive.
Kaine said the plant will be benefit more than just Petersburg and Central Virginia.
"This is really important to the local economy but the products that are created here, and the manufacturing processes that are bring worked on in Central Virginia, are going to end up reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals around the world," Kaine said.
The company hopes their success will cut into medications being manufactured in China.
"I think most of us feel better about the quality, when it's made here at home,” Kaine said. “But we definitely feel better about the Security of it.”
Success for all three pharmaceuticals in Petersburg is being tied to developing a unique workforce. John Tyler Community College, Richard Bland College, Virginia State University and Virginia Commonwealth University have teamed up to make that happen.
Civica, while still under construction, is already expanding. By 2024, the company expects to be manufacturing three generic forms of insulin that company officials said will cost 90% less than medication’s current list price.
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