October 27, 2008
by Andrew Joseph
Helping keep Canadians healthy on a year-round basis may sound like a tall order, but meeting this challenge daily carries considerable rewards, in terms of a healthy bottom line, for pharmaceutical manufacturers that truly understand the needs of the marketplace and their customers.
Founded in 1979 by chief executive officer Guy Lamarre, the privately-owned Confab Laboratories Inc. has certainly put the last three decades in the pharmaceutical co-packing and third-party manufacturing business to good use—evolving into a fast-growing drug development and contract manufacturing powerhouse employing over 250 employees at its state-of-the-art, 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility near the Canada-U.S. border in St-Hubert, Que.
“Since the beginning of its manufacturing operations, Confab Laboratories has always striven to provide top-quality products—quickly and at the best possible price—as a contract manufacturer of both nutraceutical products and pharmaceutical drugs,” says vice-president of business development Nathalie Brisson, who is also one of the company’s three principal shareholders along with Lamarre and vice-president of operations Denis Church.
Equipped with world-class manufacturing machinery and capabilities, the Confab plant—situated on a 264,000-square-foot site offering plenty of room for any future expansion—produces a remarkably diverse range of tablets, capsules, liquid doses, syrups, suspensions, suppositories, ampoules, creams, lotions, ointments and other formulations for both human consumption and veterinary use.
Although the company does not make any of its own branded products—choosing to focus on manufacturing and packaging nutraceutical products, prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medicines, generic drugs, etc., for some of the world’s leading Big Pharma brand-owners—it is subjected to stringent regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the border, by virtue of being a manufacturer of both OTC and prescribed pharmaceuticals.
As such, the Confab facility had to obtain all the relevant approvals and certifications from both Health Canada and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the U.S., as well as the coveted cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) compliance that enables the company to do work for clients in the EU (European Union) markets.