Exton-Based West Pharma Works to Put a Stopper to COVID-19 Spread

Dan Weckerly
West Pharmaceutical Services
Image via Monica Herndon, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Business is booming for Exton-based West Pharmaceutical Services, the world’s leading manufacturer of rubber stoppers. The circular plugs seal vials of vaccines and other injectables, writes Harold Brubaker for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Before the pandemic, West produced more than 40 billion rubber stoppers and rubber tips for syringe plungers per year. Now, production has skyrocketed as the push to vaccinate billions of people worldwide against the virus continues.

The company is expecting to generate around $260 million in 2021 revenue, just from products related to COVID-19. Last year, West reported overall revenue of $2.1 billion.

“We’re involved with basically all the vaccines that are in the market,” said Eric Green, West’s chief executive.

West’s rubber stoppers have a distinct market advantage. They feature a coating that prevents interaction between the vaccine and the man-made rubber. This coating ensures that the medicine in the vial works as designed.

New equipment investments, driven by the surge in demand, mean upgrades to the company’s Pennsylvania and North Carolina sites. West seeks to double its manufacturing capacity for products used with vaccines.

Read more about West Pharmaceutical Services in The Philadelphia Inquirer.