UPDATED: Pharma manufacturers at CPhI, like Ash Stevens, forecast growth

Pharmaceutical manufacturers attending the massive CPhI show, which began today in Madrid, are generally upbeat about their business looking forward. A survey of attendees found that 97% of them expect sales to increase or stay the same in the next 12 months, a 7.7% improvement over their forecast a year ago. About 29,000 attendees and 2,200 companies from small to the largest of pharmaceutical manufacturers were expected to attend the three-day event. Stephen Munk, CEO of API maker Ash Stevens, which is at CPhI, said, "We are very excited about the future of API manufacturing in the U.S." The 75-employee, Riverview, MI-based company had sales of about $21.5 million for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It is currently investing about $12 million in a plant expansion that includes a train of 2,000-, 3,000- and 4,000-liter reactors, new drying equipment and more. He said the company would not be "investing 50% of sales" if it did not expect business to grow. Survey results show Munk's attitude is shared by most of those attending CPhI. They said they expect certain parts of the market to especially create opportunities, including the growth of generics (58.6%), the move toward outsourcing (53.4%) and supply chain security (50.4%). Release