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Minister Ebrahim Patel opens Aspen’s world class general anaesthetic manufacturing line

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive (left) and Honorable Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel at the unveiling of Aspen’s general anaesthetics manufacturing line in Gqeberha, South Africa

Gqeberha, South Africa – Aspen, a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, earlier today hosted the Honorable Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel who officially opened Aspen’s world class general anaesthetics production line at its Gqeberha-based flagship manufacturing site. This manufacturing capability will convert Aspen’s Gqeberha facility into one of the largest manufacturing hubs for general anaesthetic products in the world.

The unveiling of the general anaesthetics line follows shortly on the heels of the visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2021 at the start of the production of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Officiating at the opening of Aspen’s general anaesthetics facility, Honorouable Minister Ebrahim Patel said, “This facility consolidates the Eastern Cape as the most significant advanced pharmaceutical hub on the African continent and it will create local jobs. The start of operations is timely as anaesthetics are a class of drug that, among other uses, supports the treatment of COVID-19 patients on ventilators in intensive care units.  South Africa has to date imported the general anaesthetics needed in our healthcare system and the new production line will provide an important medical product for the local market, assuring security of supply, and the bulk of it will be exported across the world, contributing to global patient support.”

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said, “The opening of our general anaesthetics manufacturing line is a significant milestone for Aspen as it will serve as a crucial anaesthetics hub for this critical medication. This is one of the world’s largest general anaesthetics production lines and it positively positions Aspen’s integrated supply, marketing, and sale of anaesthetics globally. Our investment of more than R3.0 billion in this facility is the single largest investment in the pharmaceutical industry in the country and aligns with our commitment to supporting the industrialisation of South Africa.”

Sterile Focus Brands, comprising anaesthetic and thrombosis products, is one of Aspen’s key business segments and contributes 28% of revenue. The general anaesthetics production line extends Aspen’s sterile footprint and complements the Group’s strategic vision of delivering quality, affordable medicines using high-technology pharmaceutical equipment, contributing to improved health outcomes for patients.

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