Now, a generic drug company is setting up shop in Wilson, and bringingwith it jobs, money and connections.
Pharmacist Michael Warren says more and more people are choosinggeneric medications.
Customers say they like the lower price and usually get just as manybenefits from them as they do from name brands drugs.
That's welcome news to business leaders in Wilson because the city'smulti-million dollar Novopharm plant will make many of those genericproducts.
The company is getting ready for a big grand opening Friday.Novopharm hopes to make dozens of generic products as soon as the currentmanufacturer's patents expire.
One of the company's most well-known products will also be a part ofday to day operations in Wilson. Ranitidine is the generic version of thepopular anti-ulcer drug Zantac. Right now, Novopharm makes its version inToronto, but soon it will be made in Wilson.
Novopharm says the name brand drug made more than $1 billion lastyear alone. Once the North Carolina plant begins production, thefacility's staff will swell to more than 200 people.
Jim Whitley of Wilson's Economic Development Council says that willmean only good things for the area.
The company says it has keyed into the future of pharmaceuticals and isready to take the city of Wilson along for the ride.
Novopharm isn't the only pharmaceutical company putting down roots inWilson. Merck Laboratories is already up and running there.