Bayer will invest $200 million in a new pharmaceutical plant for the production of long-acting reversible contraceptives in Costa Rica, which will provide access to family planning for more women in low- and middle-income countries. Located in the Coyol Free Zone, in Alajuela, construction is already underway on the state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility, which is expected to begin production in 2024 and will work in coordination with other Bayer plants around the world.
“Our knowledge, scientific research, and new developments in producing long-lasting contraceptives are crucial to achieving our commitment to sustainability,” said Christian Meyer, President of Bayer Central America, the Caribbean, and Andean Countries. “Due to increasing unmet needs for family planning, our current manufacturing network requires an increase in capacity. Based on this need, Costa Rica was selected, thus evidencing the trust that the country instills in us for our businesses, based on its strategic location and valuable human talent offering the knowledge necessary to manage our technology, as well as sustainability policies, such as those that promote the development and capture of private investment.
“We want to demonstrate, once again, the commitment we have in this country so important to our region,” continued Meyer. “We have grown, thanks to Costa Ricans and over our more than 40 years together, working in the country, where we also operate a medical device plant in Heredia, a shared services center that serves the entire American continent (except Brazil), and two plants dedicated to agricultural sector research and development.”
Among Bayer’s sustainability commitments, the company prioritizes both empowering women and supporting their family planning and self-determination. At the 2019 International Conference on Population and Development, Bayer announced its goal, by 2030, to provide 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to modern contraceptives, as part of its contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This investment in Costa Rica contributes significantly to this commitment.
“The plant is expected to employ around 250 people upon launch of its operations, with increasing hiring needs as our production also increases,” explained Jimmy Suazo, plant manager. “Additionally, I would also like to highlight that Costa Rica’s permanent commitment to sustainability aligns with Bayer’s sustainability commitments – another fundamental point that supports today’s announcement of why we’re investing in Costa Rica.”
Products from the Costa Rican plant will be destined for international organizational programs, such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), since they have recently added Bayer’s hormonal IUS to their respective catalogs and will be in charge of defining the countries, as well as coordination and distribution according to their needs.
“I am proud to say that, through our work, we will give women the opportunity to define their own futures, as planning allows them to form healthier families and creates a positive domino effect on health systems, our countries’ economies, and societal welfare, in general,” Suazo concluded.
The new Bayer Medical Alajuela site will be more than 300,000 square feet in size and include six production lines.
“This is an emblematic project, in every way: The magnitude of the investment. The scale and ambition to improve access, to tens of millions of women, to modern methods of family planning,” said Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica. “And the huge vote of confidence, from a world giant in innovation and quality, for Costa Rica’s human talent, our investment climate, and institutional framework. For this and much more, this investment will mark a before and after, both in the sector and in the consolidation of our successful and dynamic life sciences cluster.
“Here, we witness the convergence of the things we work toward, every day,” he continued. “As a country, Costa Rica increasingly attracts more foreign investment and creates high-quality jobs, based on our human talent and our deep commitment to sustainability, thus creating a unique value proposition for investment with purpose, as well as for establishing long-term relationships, such as the one that has united us with Bayer for more than 40 years and that today, we take to another level.”
“Bayer’s investment, in this pharmaceutical industry and medical device manufacture megaproject, positions us as a country where companies with purpose can take advantage of the sustainability conditions that we offer to enable responsible production,” commented Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE. “From Costa Rica, the company will produce the third-largest product in its biopharmaceutical division, empowering Bayer to respond to global demand and simultaneously positioning us as a global benchmark for the industry. Bayer confirms that they chose Costa Rica as the site of investment, after gathering the technical and competitive capacities required for the operation, under the pillar of sustainability.”