On 31 December 2008, South Africa's term as an elected member of the UN Security Council came to an end, and South African athletes Khotso Mokoena and Natalie du Toit made history at the Beijing Olympics. It was also the year the IDC invested in growing the country's pharmaceutical prowess.

pharmaq 2008pharmaq 2008There are several events and points in history that made South Africa proud in 2008. In that year, South Africa successfully ended its first term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 31 December. However, the country went on to serve in the Council for another term which ended in 31 December 2012.

On the sporting front, South Africa’s long jump superstar, Khotso Mokoena, earned a 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medal with his impressive 8.24 metre jump at the Beijing Olympics. Not to be outdone, South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit reached her personal goal of participating in the Beijing Olympics and carved her place in history at the same time, as the very first amputee to compete at an Olympic Games.

The events above must bode well for a pharmaceuticals group in Johannesburg to embark on its expansion plans. In the same year, Pharma-Q approached the Industrial Development Corporation for funds to upgrade and modify its plant.

With this cash, the 20 000m2 site in Industria West was upgraded in accordance with the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PICS) standard, measured by the industry regulator, the Medicines Controls Council (MCC). The funding helped sustain almost 400 permanent jobs and just over 130 temporary jobs, and created an additional 45 new direct permanent jobs.

Previously owned by Adcock Ingram and Wyeth SA, Pharma-Q is predominantly a contract manufacturer, but it has plans to manufacture its own products. This will open export opportunities and increase South Africa's pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity and capability.

The company has an established track record in manufacturing expertise and produces 500 MCC-approved products, serving 30 leading global pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Pfizer and Reckitt Benckiser. The diversity of the plant's facilities has given Pharma-Q greater flexibility and it produces a variety of steriles, such as eye and ear drops, as well as injectables such as glass ampoules, vials and dental cartridges; liquids, creams and ointments; and tablets, powders and suspensions.

It takes health seriously, and has an on-site clinic with an occupational health practitioner and a medical practitioner for its staff. In addition, Pharma-Q offers internships, training and development opportunities for staff to improve their skills, knowledge and qualifications.