Drug maker to open Durham facility and create 100 jobs

rbutt@newsobserver.comSeptember 25, 2013 

Purdue Pharma, maker of the pain killer OxyContin and other medications, plans to build a facility in Durham and create 100 more jobs over the next three years.

The private company announced Wednesday that it will invest $59 million in the facility, which is to be built in the Treyburn Corporate Park. Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2015, said Shirley Johnson, a Purdue spokeswoman.

The facility will employ quality control technicians and other manufacturing personnel, she said. The company expects to begin recruiting new employees in late 2014.

It will be Purdue’s second facility in North Carolina. In 2000, the Stamford, Conn.-based company opened a manufacturing facility in Wilson, which today employs about 180 employees.

“This decision underscores Purdue’s commitment to the Raleigh/Durham region, and solidifies the company’s footprint in North Carolina through the establishment of a manufacturing and technology hub,” said John H. Stewart, Purdue’s CEO, in a statement. “This decision also reflects Purdue’s ongoing commitment to invest in high-tech jobs within the state.”

The average annual wage of the new jobs will be $70,199, above the Durham County average of $66,602.

Purdue is eligible to receive a $300,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund if it meets job-creation and investment milestones. The grant also requires a local match.

Purdue makes a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications and health care products.

In late April, the Food and Drug Administration approved an abuse-resistant form of OxyContin, which makes the pill tougher to crush and snort or heat for an injection.

The FDA banned generic OxyContin that does not contain tamper-resistant qualities after concerns were raised about people abusing the painkiller abuse. Purdue has also been accused of deceptive marketing in several federal and state lawsuits in recent years.

Josh Ellis, a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce, said Purdue’s announcement further enhances the region’s reputation as a home for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicago and Merck all operate development and manufacturing operations in the Triangle area. The region has in recent years emerged as a national hub for vaccine development and manufacturing.

Butt: 919-829-4523

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