Local News

Generic Drug Company Opening in Wilson

Posted November 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— The last time you had a prescription filled, you were probably given the option of getting a generic drug, instead of the one with a brand name. A few years ago, generic drugs were practically unheard of. Now they're commonplace.

Now, a generic drug company is setting up shop in Wilson, and bringing with it jobs, money and connections.

Pharmacist Michael Warren says more and more people are choosing generic medications.

Customers say they like the lower price and usually get just as many benefits from them as they do from name brands drugs.

That's welcome news to business leaders in Wilson because the city's multi-million dollar Novopharm plant will make many of those generic products.

The company is getting ready for a big grand opening Friday. Novopharm hopes to make dozens of generic products as soon as the current manufacturer's patents expire.

One of the company's most well-known products will also be a part of day to day operations in Wilson. Ranitidine is the generic version of the popular anti-ulcer drug Zantac. Right now, Novopharm makes its version in Toronto, but soon it will be made in Wilson.

Novopharm says the name brand drug made more than $1 billion last year alone. Once the North Carolina plant begins production, the facility's staff will swell to more than 200 people.

Jim Whitley of Wilson's Economic Development Council says that will mean only good things for the area.

The company says it has keyed into the future of pharmaceuticals and is ready to take the city of Wilson along for the ride.

Novopharm isn't the only pharmaceutical company putting down roots in Wilson. Merck Laboratories is already up and running there.

Reporter/Photographer:Brian Bowman