Kodak Slated to Begin U.S. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Eastman Business Park, which will be the site of the new Kodak Pharmaceuticals company.

One thing the COVID-19 has exposed is the United States’ dependence on pharmaceutical drugs manufactured overseas – and how a crisis such as COVID-19 can result in key drug shortages.

To that end, this week, the Eastman Kodak Company announced that, with the help of the U.S. government, it’s branching out into a new area: pharmaceuticals.

The firm announced that the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a U.S. government investment agency, will provide Kodak with a $765 million loan to support the launch of a new business branch, Kodak Pharmaceuticals.

The new business unit will produce critical pharmaceutical components that have been identified as essential, but have lapsed into chronic national shortage.

Kodak is said to have successfully completed  DFC’s initial screening, which will be followed by standard due diligence conducted by the U.S. agency before financing is formally committed.

Once fully operational, Kodak Pharmaceuticals will have a site at the Eastman Business Park, which is operated by Kodak and is located in Rochester, New York. The company will produce up to 25 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals while providing 360 direct jobs and an additional 1,200 indirectly.

Dr. Peter Navarro, assistant to the president and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy at the White House, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed U.S. vulnerability in depending on drugs manufactured overseas: “If we have learned anything from the global pandemic, it is that Americans are dangerously dependent on foreign supply chains for their essential medicines. This DFC-Kodak partnership is a big win for the use of President Trump’s DPA powers, a big win for New York, and a huge step forward towards American pharmaceutical independence.”

Kodak Executive Chairman Jim Continenza commented: “Kodak is proud to be a part of strengthening America’s self-sufficiency in producing the key pharmaceutical ingredients we need to keep our citizens safe. By leveraging our vast infrastructure, deep expertise in chemicals manufacturing, and heritage of innovation and quality, Kodak will play a critical role in the return of a reliable American pharmaceutical supply chain.”

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