The Power of Investment in Growth and Innovation

Blog Brent L. Saunders

At Allergan, we have a strong commitment to investing in innovation to improve the lives of patients by addressing difficult to treat diseases. While investing in scientific innovation can be risky, a supportive legal and regulatory environment, as well as access to skilled workers and strong academic partners, creates an environment for success.

This is the type of environment that we found in Waco, Texas more than 27 years ago. And, that environment remains supportive of innovation today.  Just last week we broke ground on a $200 million expansion of our flagship manufacturing facility in Waco, where we have been making our eye care medicines since 1989. When completed, the expansion will double the facility’s size, enabling manufacturing of more than 40 different product formulations and increasing production capacity by more than half. The facility may also manufacture some of the 10 eye care R&D programs in our pipeline of 70+ mid-to-late stage programs.

Like so much of what we do, this is not just good for Allergan, but good for the communities we touch. First, the expansion will add up to 250 new jobs to the 750 employees who already work at our Waco facility. Employees like Karla Quintana-Lopez, who started with us 19 years ago as a packer and has advanced to be a fill technician. Karla knows that being a part of a growing team provides even more opportunities – including pursuing her interest in becoming a microbiology professional. This expansion will attract and cultivate more top talent – scientists, engineers and technicians – to be a part of the Allergan team, who develop and make innovative medicines.

We will also have a tremendous impact on the Waco community overall. An analysis by Baylor University shows the expansion will add $380 million in economic impact during construction, and an estimated $460 million in ongoing impact while also providing important medicines to patients in 110 countries.

We are making a difference by making sight saving medicines, creating jobs and driving economic growth in Central Texas. The impact of this expansion will be felt far and wide.

Waco is just one of many manufacturing sites in the U.S. and abroad where our proud team makes a difference for patients. But to be able to continue to invest in our network, we must have sound and sensible policies and regulation that attract that investment, both in the U.S. and around the world. In Waco and in Texas, we found local and state governments eager to work side-by-side with Allergan on investments that will have a positive impact on their communities.

I urge policymakers and governments globally to consider the impact of policies on investment which creates jobs, economic impact and advance innovation. Through a more open dialogue between the private sector and governments, we can work toward a more prosperous future for all.