AstraZeneca disclaims exec's remarks on outsourcing

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AstraZeneca today issued a statement disclaiming remarks made by its global operations chief in a UK newspaper implying plans to outsource all of its supply and manufacturing activities.

David Smith, AstraZeneca's EVP, global operations was quoted by The Times of London in a Monday article as saying, “manufacturing for AstraZeneca is not a core activity… AstraZeneca is about innovation and brand building … There are lots of people and organizations that can manufacture better than we can.”

According to The Times, Smith said AstraZeneca was making it a priority to outsource all of its manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients by 2010.

However, in a statement e-mailed to MM&M by an AstraZeneca spokeswoman today, the drugmaker said “fully outsourcing supply and manufacturing activities, as implied in the article, is not part of the AstraZeneca strategy.”

The statement added that AstraZeneca's global operations “will use outsourcing where there is a sound business case.”

AstraZeneca added that the pretext of The Times interview with Smith was to talk about how the pharmaceutical industry is looking to other industries for a guidance on supply chain practices and philosophies.

The Times article “captured select comments from the interview, specifically relating to outsourcing,” AstraZeneca said.

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