Colorcon’s Humacao, Puerto Rico plant suffered minor damage despite being in the direct path of Hurricane Maria.

Colocon is a manufacturer of pharmaceutical film coating systems, modified release technologies and functional excipients. In a recent interview with pharmaceutical industry magazine Pharmaceutical Technology, Craig Palumbo, vice president of Global Operations, and Daniel Wakefield, site director, at Colorcon spoke about the recovery efforts at its production facility in Humacao, Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

The Colorocon plant in Humacao was in the direct path of Hurricane Maria when it struck the southeast of Puerto Rico in September 2017. Due to robust construction, however, the facility only experienced minor damage, according to Palumbo. The company manufactures its range of Opadry film coating products at the site, and also has warehousing for products marketed through the Dow - Colorcon Control Release (CR) Alliance. 

Supply of these products was not interrupted after the hurricane due to the effectiveness of Colorcon’s business continuity plan (BCP), according to Wakefield. Product was provided from the company’s 10 other production sites located around the world, with North American customers receiving materials from West Point, PA and those in Europe being supplied from Dartford, Kent, UK.

Immediately following the hurricane, Colorcon also made sure that its employees and their families had food, water, satellite phones, and other essentials, according to Wakefield. The company continues to provide assistance as needed as the recovery on the island proceeds at a slow pace.

The minor damage at the Humacao plant was repaired fairly quickly, and after completion of a full site assessment on December 20, 2017, the facility commenced operations, again, according to Wakefield.

At the present, shipping of goods to and from the island remains challenging, but the company’s employees are safe and “positive about being on the path to restoring a more normal life,” says Palumbo. Going forward, Colorcon remains committed to manufacturing in Puerto Rico.