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More Tirzepatide To Be Made in the USA: Lilly invests $9B in API Plant

Updated: May 26

In an era where supply chain resilience and quality control have never been more critical, Eli Lilly and Company has made a bold move by investing an additional $5.3 billion ($9B total) to enhance the domestic supply of Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Zepbound and Mounjaro.

To date, all of Lilly’s domestic manufacturing investments have revolved around the assembly, and finish and fill of their injector pens. This decision to invest in the Lebanon, Indiana API production facility is not just a massive financial commitment but a strategic shift towards repatriating Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) production—a topic that has profound implications for both the industry and patients like us who rely on these medications.


So, why is Lilly making such a hefty investment to bring API production back to the United States? The answer lies in a blend of economic, health, and strategic benefits.


The COVID-19 pandemic revealed significant vulnerabilities in global supply chains, particularly for pharmaceuticals. By producing APIs domestically, Lilly can mitigate risks associated with geopolitical tensions and international trade disruptions. This move ensures that critical medications remain available during crises, whether they are health-related or geopolitical.


From an economic standpoint, this investment will create thousands of jobs, fostering a skilled workforce in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing. This is not just about boosting the local economy; it’s about developing a robust, self-sufficient pharmaceutical industry capable of meeting domestic demand and setting a global standard.


One of the most compelling reasons for repatriating API production is the potential for improved quality control. When production is closer to home, it allows for better regulatory oversight. This means that medications are more likely to meet the stringent safety and efficacy standards set by regulatory bodies like the FDA. For us, as consumers, this translates to increased trust in the medications we rely on for managing obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Lilly’s decision also underscores the importance of strategic autonomy. By reducing dependence on foreign API manufacturers, Lilly is better positioned to control the entire production process, from raw materials to finished product. This not only enhances the reliability of drug supplies but also contributes to national security by ensuring that essential medications are always available.


Domestic production is also beneficial from an environmental perspective. U.S. manufacturing facilities must adhere to rigorous environmental regulations, ensuring that the production processes are sustainable and have a lower environmental impact compared to some overseas operations.


For those of us with a vested interest in the accessibility of quality obesity and diabetes medications, this bold leadership move by Lilly is incredibly encouraging. It reflects a commitment to innovation, quality, and reliability—values that are crucial for ongoing advancements and accessibility alike.


Eli Lilly’s $9 billion investment is more than just a financial maneuver; it’s a step towards securing a safer and more stable supply of medicine for Americans. By bringing API production back to the United States, Lilly is not only securing its supply chain but also ensuring that the medications we depend on are safe, effective, and consistently available.


Never miss an update, get email alerts at onthepen.com/emails for updates on this and other groundbreaking developments in the world of GLP-1 medications. Together, we’ll navigate these advancements and continue our journey towards better health and wellness.

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