After Teva, US-based pharma giant Abbott Laboratories enters Gujarat

Illinois headquartered $ 38.9 billion (Rs 2.15 lakh crore roughly) pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories is all set to enter Gujarat through its subsidiary Abbott India with a plant at Jhagadia near Bharuch. The investment on the proposed plant that will manufacture the company's nutraceutical products is estimated to be around Rs 360 crore, informed a senior state government official. 

H G Koshia, commissioner of Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) informed Business Standard that Abbott had approached the state government some time back to set up a plant for manufacturing its nutraceutical (food product which provides both health and medical benefits) products, and has been allotted 45 acres of land at Jhagadia which comes in between Bharuch and Vadodara district. "The company plans to invest Rs 360 crore on the plant that will make the 'Ensure' range of nutritional drinks for elderly people and also paediatric nutritional drink called PediaSure.", he said.

However, an email query sent to the company did not elicit any response.

Ensure is a nutrition drink that is prescribed as a dietary supplement to help early recovery from illness. "Ensure with FOS is a complete, balanced nutrition for early recovery from illness. It provides all essential nutrients in the diet and can be used as a sole source of nutrition.", the company says in its website adding that the product is usually used in post-surgical care and in case of elderly patients. 

The Ensure range comprises products like Ensure Clear, Ensure Plus,Ensure Clinical Strength, Ensure Enlive, Ensure High Protein,Ensure High Protein Shake,Ensure Immune Health, Ensure Muscle Health, Ensure Powder and EnsurePudding. 

PediaSure is a nutritional supplement for children between the age group of 2-10 years. 

Koshia informed that this will be Abbott's first plant in India that would make the nutraceutical range of products."Abbott makes the Ensure and Pediasure range in the US and markets them globally as well. It gets the products contract manufactured by local players in India following their quality standards.", he said. Abbott India currently has a manufacturing plant at the Verna industrial area in Goa, spread over 10 acres that makes liquid oral and film-coated tablets. 

Abbott India had opened its first nutrition research and development (R&D) center in India in June this year at Bangalore through a tie-up with Syngene International Ltd., Biocon's contract research unit. The company had indicated then that it would be setting up a manufacturing site in India as the next phase of the Abbott's plans with the nutrition business in India. 

Abbott Laboratories was founded in 1888 by a young Chicago physician, Dr Wallace Calvin Abbott. The company later evolved into a diversified health care company that now employs over 91,000 people worldwide across 130 countries. Abbott India, a Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) listed entity with a turnover of Rs 1477.48 crore in 2011 (the company follows a calendar year fiscal), markets products in the areas of pain management, gastroenterology, neurology and psychiatry, metabolics and urology, provides solutions in the areas of thyroid, obesity, diabetes apart from products in the anesthesiology and neonatology segments. 

Popular brands from the Abbott stable include pain-killers like Brufen apart from other leading brands like Cremafin, Digene, Dupahalac and Vertin among others. 

Abbott India has a network of 18 distribution points, which cater to 11,000 stockists and 70,000 retailers and employs over 1000 people. Earlier in 2010, Abbott had acquired India's Piramal Healthcare's domestic formulation business for $3.72 billion (about Rs 17,484 crore), thereby making it one of the largest drug firms in the country. Abbott also has a licensing and supply agreement with Ahmedabad based drug major Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) for marketing 24 Zydus' products in 15 emerging markets where Abbott has a strong presence. 

Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TPI) is also entering Gujarat through a joint venture (JV) with US-based Proctor & Gamble (P&G) and will set up a Rs 250 crore manufacturing facility at Sanand to make over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

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