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Janssen Pharmaceutica opens new European distribution center in La Louvière

Janssen Pharmaceutica - European Distribution Center

Janssen Pharmaceutica strengthens its presence in Wallonia with the opening of a new European distribution center for pharmaceutical drugs in La Louvière

La Louvière, 3 October 2012 – Today, Janssen Pharmaceutica is opening the new European distribution center for pharmaceutical drugs in La Louvière. The Center is part of the distribution network of the worldwide Johnson & Johnson group, and will be the major hub in the distribution of innovative Janssen medicines to patients throughout Europe. 

The European distribution center centralizes the activities of 15 logistics centers, enabling medicines from the different European production sites to be shipped directly to a single, central distribution center. From there, the pharmaceutical drugs are shipped to the Janssen companies in 11 European countries and to Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries throughout the world. 

“The European distribution center in La Louvière will enable us to more efficiently deliver medicines that respond to the real needs of patients. Thanks to the new structure, some of the logistical burden and administrative costs that hospitals are faced with will also disappear”, says Tom Heyman, CEO of Janssen Pharmaceutica. “In addition, the management team of the three distribution centers in Belgium (Beerse, Courcelles and La Louvière) will be centralized. The relative proximity of these three European distribution centers makes it possible to use synergies to the maximum extent, and to exchange best practices and know how.”

Janssen has invested € 49 million in the new center, which will employ 115 people.

Integration into Wallonia and Belgium

The inauguration of the new center once again strengthens Janssen’s integration into Wallonia and Belgium. The choice of La Louvière was mainly inspired by the logistical options, the intersection of a number of major highways and the proximity of the airport of Charleroi. The well-developed infrastructure and the central position within Europe also played an important role, of course. “Moreover, we have an excellent relationship with the Walloon Government, on whose support we have always been able to count throughout this entire project”, adds Tom Heyman. 

Jean-Claude Marcourt, Walloon Vice President and Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, also welcomes J&J’s investment. “Johnson & Johnson already opted in favor of Wallonia with the establishment of its first distribution center for medical products in 2005”. According to the Minister, the group’s new European distribution center – which is dedicated to the distribution of pharmaceutical products – not only confirms that Wallonia is the perfect location when it comes to logistical activities with major added-value, but also the quality and productivity of the local workforce. In time, this center will become an important partner for the Walloon “bio-logistics” chain.

The new investment also confirms the firm choice that Janssen has made in favor of Belgium. Janssen hopes to develop its long-term vision further in a stable fiscal and economic environment. “We aim to continue our investments in Belgium”, confirms Janssen’s top management. “In recent years, Belgium has made considerable efforts to create an attractive investment climate for the pharmaceutical industry, which is, incidentally, one of the strongholds of the Belgian economy. We have therefore quite deliberately continued to invest in Belgium, because we are able to compensate the high payroll costs with sound scientific knowledge and a stimulating tax climate here.” In addition, Janssen also advocates the necessary stability: “The pharmaceutical industry is characterized by long-term endeavors. Many years lie between the initial research into the active ingredients of a pharmaceutical drug and the actual release of the new drug onto the market. For this reason, it is important that the government creates a stable fiscal and economic climate that enables us to design and develop this essential long-term vision.”

The official inauguration took place in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Vice President and Minister of Economy, SMEs, Foreign Trade and New Technologies of the Walloon Government and Minister of Higher Education of the Walloon-Brussels Federation, Jean-Claude Marcourt and American Ambassador H.E. Howard Gutman. Executives from Janssen who attended the launch include Tom Heyman, CEO of Janssen Pharmaceutica, Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman, Janssen Europe, Middle East and Africa, Stuart Magloff, Vice President Global Customer Experience Johnson & Johnson and Dr. Ajit Shetty, former CEO of Janssen Pharmaceutica.

The new distribution center

Janssen Pharmaceutica - European Distribution Center

The new distribution center was built on a 70,000 m² site. The building itself has a surface area of 21,500 m². 385,000 orders will be processed annually in the center, roughly corresponding to 160 million pharmaceutical drug packages. 

The environment was also taken into consideration in the implementation of the new, environmentally-friendly center. This is why local, regional and renewable materials were used during the construction phase, with only wood from sustainable logging being used. Moreover, efficient insulation systems have been installed in order to ensure that the buildings are as energy-friendly as possible, and the installation of solar panels is scheduled for 2013. 

About Janssen Pharmaceutica

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV is a worldwide center for excellence for integrated R&D, production and general services. The company has four sites in Belgium (Beerse I & II, Geel and Olen), which together employ nearly 4,000 people. More than eighty medicines registered to the company are used worldwide in human medicine and material protection. The company operates in a wide range of pathological areas, such as neurosciences, oncology and infectious diseases.