We have some exciting news about Lilly's footprint in Europe: we will be investing €90 million in our manufacturing site in Alsace, France.
Lilly has been operating in France for more than 50 years. The manufacturing site in Fegersheim, Alsace, is Lilly's largest (over 1550 employees), and the fourth biggest factory in the Alsace region. The site accounts for 7% of France's biotechnology jobs and 8% of its pharmaceutical exports, making it an important industrial force in the region.
Regular readers of the blog may have seen the earlier post all about our French production site. It's already the world's biggest manufacturer of insulin cartridges; at the moment we can produce 171 million insulin cartridges per year, but this will increase to almost 200 million when the new unit is completed. This will help make sure that patients have access to the medicines they need, whilst serving as an economic boost to the French region.
Some 60 million people in Europe suffer from diabetes and it's a leading cause of death in most developed countries. Diabetes was the principal cause of death of more than 100,000 persons in EU member states in 2011. The demand for treatments is continuously on the up so the new production unit in Fegersheim comes at a crucial time.
Diabetes can have an enormous impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. It also increases the risk of patients developing additional health problems such as cardiovascular disease, so investment in medicines to prevent these is also vital. Around one quarter of medical expenditure is spent on treating long-term complications of diabetes, but early treatment will help to minimize this.
Investment in this plant represents just another step in Lilly's long standing contribution and leadership over the past 80 years in diabetes care. Tackling diabetes is one of the greatest challenges we face in Europe today, so we look forward to seeing these developments getting under way!
This news follows an announcement last year of a major €330 million Lilly investment in a new biopharmaceutical facility in Kinsale, Ireland. The state-of-the-art commercialisation and manufacturing plant will require 200 employees when fully operational. In addition, a further 300 construction jobs are expected to be created on the site during building works.
With all this great news on investment, it is important to recognize we cannot continue to grow in Europe in isolation. Lilly's continued investments across the whole of Europe, and beyond, simply would not be possible without conducive operating environments.
Robust collaboration between industry and governments is vital for innovation and growth to flourish. Supportive environments play a crucial role in allowing a company like ours to fully contribute to the growth agenda, and continue to make investments such as this recent Fegersheim injection and the Kinsale expansion.
This is certainly a message we regularly convey to policy makers in Brussels. In short, across Europe, we need a greater appreciation and understanding of the support required by the pharmaceutical industry to continue to operate at the pace needed to safeguard future generations' health and wellbeing. Collaboration, partnerships and a continued positive dialogue are key for this.