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AZ denies it will outsource drug manufacturing

AstraZeneca responds to a report in the 17 September Times article which claimed that the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company would outsource its drug manufacturing operations over the next 10 years

AstraZeneca (AZ) has responded to a report in the 17 September Times article which claimed that the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company would outsource its drug manufacturing operations over the next 10 years.

AZ's executive vice-president of operations, David Smith, was quoted as saying that manufacturing for AZ was not a core activity and that the company was concerned primarily with innovation and brand-building: "There are lots of people and organisations that can manufacture better than we can."

AZ insists that the original purpose of the Times interview was to discuss how the pharmaceutical industry was looking to other industries for Supply Chain practices and philosophies and that outsourcing supply and manufacturing activities, as implied in the article, was not part of the AZ strategy.

The company will, however, use outsourcing where there is a sound business case. For example, it is currently exploring the manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) the basic chemicals used to formulate conventional medicines.

AZ said in a statement: "The delivery of medicines for patients remains top priority for AstraZeneca and our global operations will continue to source activities in-house that are critical to keeping connected with the patient and essential to ensuring patient safety.  Supply and manufacturing will continue to play an important role in this through delivery of a robust end-to-end supply chain."

18th September 2007

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