Product development support strengthens drug SME competitiveness and creates jobs

A drug manufacturer in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region in Poland has developed two new lines of over-the-counter generic drugs, improving its competitiveness. Fully automated production machinery — a first for drug manufacturers in the region — produces and packages affordable versions of popular painkiller tablets and gels.

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Automated production in the laboratory Galena Olsztyn- Laboratorium Galenowe Olsztyn Sp. z o.o Automated production in the laboratory Galena Olsztyn- Laboratorium Galenowe Olsztyn Sp. z o.o

" Our development of new products was possible thanks to this support for innovative production processes. We are the only drug manufacturer in our region. The investment makes our small, modern factory and well-prepared team better able to compete with larger manufacturers. "

Urszula Lech, CEO of Laboratory Galena Olsztyn

Laboratory Galena Olsztyn (LGO) now makes its own 500 mg paracetamol and 400 and 200 mg ibuprofen painkillers in a new tablet production line. A second line produces skin-applied ketoprofen and diclofenac anti-inflammatory gels that relieve internal pain.

All are based on existing formulations for which patents had expired, allowing LGO to avoid research costs. Launched in 2011-2012, the medicines have proved popular with local consumers as they are available without a prescription and are cheaper than the original drugs. Overall, they have increased LGO’s income by 30 %.

High-tech production

The automated production lines were developed in collaboration with the University of Warmia and Mazury in the region’s capital, Olsztyn. Funding from the Regional Operation Programme helped LGO buy the machines for these. The tablet production line includes a docking station for loading ingredients, a mixer for powders, a tablet press, a tablet coater and automatic blister packaging and boxing machines. For the gel line, they included mixing, tube-filling and boxing machines.

Drugs produced by these lines have been certified as meeting EU standards by Poland’s Main Pharmaceutical Inspectorate. To continue to meet these standards, LGO maintains an inspection system covering all stages of productions, from raw materials to production and packaging. Hygiene measures already in place for other product lines also ensure that the drugs are free of germs. Workers pass through gas-tight sluices to enter the production area and wear protective clothing, while air in the production halls and for the machines is constantly filtered.

Equipment for production lines is fully computerised. This allows production parameters to be closely monitored and saves energy compared to non-automated manufacturing of similar medicines. It also supports development of the information society in the region. Each line can switch production between the different formulae it produces.

The new lines have created 20 new jobs in the company, all in the production area. Workers receive full training from a dedicated staff member.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Innowacja produktowa i procesowa w Laboratorium Galenowym Olsztyn przez uruchomienie produkcji żeli i tabletek” is EUR 2 344 937, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 855 325 through the “Warminsko-Mazurski” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Entrepreneurship”.

Draft date