Hospira unveils new testing lab at N.C. plant

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Drug maker Hospira is investing more than $200,000 at a plant in Rocky Mount, N.C., that will evaluate and test more than 450 products, the company said Wednesday.

Hospira had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the opening of its new quality and analytics testing laboratory, attended by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and other political leaders from the state.

"Rocky Mount's new laboratory, coupled with our investments throughout the plant, will help ensure that we continue to supply high-quality, more affordable medicines to customers and patients who need them," Hospira VP Rocky Mount operations Marty Nealey said. "Through advanced technology and additional space, we've been able to gradually increase our production levels and ensure more consistent release of products, ultimately supporting our ability to provide a more sustainable supply of many life-impacting drugs."

The company also announced Wednesday the launch of the Sapphire infusion system, following its approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The system includes a large, color touchscreen for quick and easy programming, easily upgraded software and flexible infusion modes for all intended uses to simplify patient care across diverse clinical areas. Sapphire has already been launched in Europe and Canada.