The White House has selected Kodak for a massive pharmaceutical contract. The move is part of the President’s use of the Defense Production Act. Various critical ingredients for pills and medicines are no longer made in the US. Over decades production of these basic chemicals have moved to overseas where lower labor rates, loose environmental limits, and less oversight.
On the corporate side, Kodak is launching a new business unit that will specialize in pharmaceuticals. They state they will produce up to 25% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, and generic pharmaceuticals. Adam Boehler and Peter Navarro both toured the manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park during development of the partnership.
Eastman Kodak Company is headquartered in Rochester, New York. The company is well known for being a staple in the photographic industry. Kodak does have a long history and experience in a wide variety of industries, including medical. The contract is expected to bring 350 jobs to Kodak and support another 1,200 indirectly.
The deal allocates $765 million in the form of a specialized loan. The deal helps Kodak domestically produce important pharmaceutical ingredients. The ingredients are used in all kinds of treatments including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and hydroxychloroquine. Nearly 80% of these primary ingredients are supplied to the USA by China and India.
Kodak is ready for the challenge. The company has immense engineering prowess and expertise but has struggled to find a new direction in the digital age. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 as it’s film business dried up. Other smaller sectors helped the company limp through it’s bankruptcy and it also accepted a $950 million loan from Citigroup.
Company leadership says the new drive into the pharmaceutical industry will become their main focus. In time they expect it to become 30 to 40 percent of their business. This is according to statements made by their executive Chairman Jim Continenza in an interview with The Journal.