Marken pushes international expansion with warehouse in China

Few parts of the world are untouched by some drugmaker as companies of every stripe and size try to tap market growth where they can. They are building plants, creating partnerships and buying companies in China, Brazil, Russia and the Middle East. And pharma suppliers see the need to get on the ground in those markets to keep their customers happy.

International clinical supply company Marken sees that need and is building out a network of warehouses in some of the fastest growing markets. It plans to have nearly a dozen by year's end. It has just opened its newest, a distribution facility in China. That marks number 6, with 5 more planned before the end of this year. The 850 square-meter, temperature-controlled warehouse was built next to its offices near the Beijing Capital International Airport.

"We now have six fully operational depots in strategic areas globally and plan to open five additional depots before the end of 2013," said Gerit Offenhauser, a senior vice president of the North Carolina company. It already has depots in the U.S., Germany, Singapore, Argentina and Mexico. It plans facilities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Russia. The company last year announced that depots in Frankfurt, Germany, and one in Farmingdale, NY, had been opened as part of the expansion. It says it has tied the operations together with a cloud-based inventory management system that can track dosages to the patient level.

Other companies that service drug manufacturing are making similar moves. Catalent just this week announced two deals in China as part of its plan to grow there, including buying a capsulemaker. West Pharmaceutical Services ($WST) is building a packaging complex in India to serve both domestic drugmakers and to capture other growth in the region. Pharmaceutical glass and plastics manufacturer Gerresheimer last year picked up controlling interest in a pharma glass company in India. 

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