PCI Pharma Services takes steps to prepare for Brexit

Another CDMO is taking steps to protect against a potential post-Brexit meltdown by expanding operations in Ireland. PCI Pharma Services calls it a “robust Brexit plan for continuity of pharmaceutical supply.”

The U.K.-based company announced it will significantly boost its capacity for clinical services with the addition of a 75,000-square-foot facility near Dublin that can serve as both a primary and secondary packaging, storage, logistics and distribution center. It will expand on operations PCI already has in that area. 

RELATED: Sanofi and other drugmakers stockpile drugs in preparation for Brexit chaos

“Our growth strategy is focused on the continued expansion of our global network to support growing demand from our customers and providing a solution for Brexit through ongoing investment in capacity, capability expansion and talent,” PCI CEO Salim Haffar said in a statement

The company did not say how much it is investing but said the expansion, which will happen over the coming months, also will add controlled room temperature and cold chain storage capabilities as well as clinical packaging.

Brexit was supposed to occur March 31 but has been delayed for a second time to Oct. 31. Since then, the U.K. has changed leadership with Brexit hard-liner Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister. 

RELATED: U.K.-based Almac snags EU site in preparation for Brexit 'uncertainty' 

Drugmakers have had to stockpile drugs in the U.K. and Europe to be prepared if supplies get delayed at borders, because the free flow of products between the U.K. and the EU will be forfeited with the U.K.'s withdrawal. Further, new rules are expected to require two approvals for drugs, one in the U.K. and and one in the EU, so some companies have been setting up testing facilities in both to be certain they are covered. 

One of those is U.K.-based Almac, which invested £30 million in a 79,000-square-foot facility in Dundalk, Ireland, to add a quality-control laboratory, commercial drug packaging facility and distribution center in the EU. 

Wasdell Group did essentially the same with a 70,000-square-foot facility, also in Dundalk, to ensure the release testing of products for the European market in the event of a disruptive Brexit.