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Meet Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) FOYA Honorable Mention

Mike McGrath
Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO)

Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is the second of two 2018 Facility of the Year Honorable Mention winners for their Rangsit Pharmaceutical Production Plant 1 project located in Pathumthani, Thailand.

Projects selected for recognition with an Honorable Mention Award are typically projects that utilize new technology or located in a challenging region of the world. These projects do not win for a specific category but are clearly successful projects that overcame significant challenges in planning, execution, and delivery and deserve recognition for their achievements.

Established in 1966, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is the largest pharmaceutical producer and distributor in Thailand. The company purchases API from outside countries such as India, China, EU and produces formulated product and packing and then distributes its products to hospitals, clinics and its own retail outlets through government contracts. As part of an initiative to boost capacity at its existing (and aging) production site in the center of Bangkok, and to meet international GMP’s following the ASEAN (Association of SE Asian Nations) alignment to PIC/s GMP, a major project for a new manufacturing facility commenced on a new site north of the city.

The new plant became a key part of the Thai Government’s efforts to control the severe HIV problem that had developed in the country, becoming very high on the public agenda. The production of Anti-retroviral medicines (ARV) is one of the main outputs of the plant. This is the first plant in the ASEAN Region built specially to supply critical HIV medicines for the people and is linked to WHO program for regional supply of medicines for HIV with the aim to be the first plant in Thailand to achieve WHO pre-qualification status.

GPO’s design was the first time an emerging economy in ASEAN region invested in state-of-the-art systems to manage the processes and product quality, rather than rely on low cost manual labor which has a varying effect on product quality and was the first plant in the region with integrated IT systems to control and manage the various processes using paperless operation following GAMP best practice, and future proofing considerations regarding Data Integrity drawing from international inspection standards.

As a result of building the new facility, GPO is able to supply local HIV medicines for a price 20 times lower than imported medicines and affordable non-chronic disease medicine with global quality standard.

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ISPE congratulates the GPO team for their achievements and their FOYA award-winning entry. Learn more about the 2018 FOYA Honorable Mention winner.