UPDATED: Hospira promised $13 million in incentives for 200 jobs, $85M investment

Hospira will make $85 million in upgrades and add 200 employees to its troubled Rocky Mount, NC, plant over the next three years and snag more than $13 million in incentives in the process. The sterile injectables maker is also considering more extensive investments over the next decade that could more than triple that investment but has yet to commit to those.

Hospira ($HSP) spokeswoman Tareta Adams tells FiercePharmaManufacturing via email that the 200 positions run the gamut of technical, supervisory, production and support roles at Rocky Mount. They represent an 8.3% boost to the current Rocky Mount workforce of 2,400. The $85 million investment includes a new laboratory for which a groundbreaking was held Thursday.

According to a release from the North Carolina governor's office, the new jobs will be worth an average of $51,780 in salary and benefits in a county where the average annual wage is $34,112. In exchange for Hospira's commitment, the state is kicking in a grant of $645,000 while the county and city are providing incentives worth $12.5 million over the next 10 years.

The North Carolina governor's office says Hospira's investment there could reach $270 million over the next decade, but Adams makes clear that the company has made no promises beyond the $85 million. "We are considering a number of potential additional investments over the next several years that the local authorities are committing to support based on property tax incentives, up to a maximum of $270 million ... but there is no assurance of the amount or the period of time for when these investments might be made."

The improvements that are promised are "part of our global effort to modernize and make capital improvements in our facilities, helping Hospira continue to provide high-quality products for our customers and address their future needs," Adams says.

Quality has been a bit elusive at Rocky Mount and two other facilities where Hospira has been making upgrades to address issues raised by an FDA inspection team. The company has had to recall a whole range of products in recent months for manufacturing problems that included particulates in vials--a problem it pinned on its glass supplier--to overfilled cartridges for a long list of drugs, including painkillers. In discussing the company's second-quarter loss earlier this month, CEO F. Michael Ball told investors that as remediation work has continued, new problems have arisen, but he insists that Hospira is getting to the bottom of them. He said Rocky Mount will be running at between 60% and 70% capacity through the rest of the year as improvements are phased in. 

- read the press release
- here's the Triangle Business Journal story

Related Articles:
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Hospira blames supplier's bad vials for latest recall
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Editor's note: Updates first and third paragraphs to add news about additional incentives.

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