After claiming the title as the national hub of medicinal cannabis, Victoria is now set to win the title for a global centre for medicinal opium poppies, as the state focuses on growing its pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.
TPI Enterprise, Australia’s only locally owned medicinal poppy processing company, is expanding its production with support from the Victorian government, creating at least 20 new jobs, according to a press release by the Victorian government.
TPI Enterprises moved its global headquarter and factory from Tasmania to Victoria in 2014, creating 48 new jobs in the process.
Australia is the world’s biggest legal producer of medicinal opium poppies, and TPI Enterprises is one of only a small number of companies in the world capable of taking poppies from plant form to tablets and pain management products.
TPI Enterprises is part of Victoria’s booming medtech and pharmaceutical sector that currently generates $1.35 billion in exports, a figure that has doubled since 2011.
In 2016 the World Health Organization estimated that 5.5 billion people have little or no access to controlled medicines for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, such as post-operative or cancer-related pain.
At the same time, global health care spending is projected to grow by over four per cent per annum in the coming years, so there is an urgent need for technologies, goods and services that improve patient care.
In 2016 the Victorian government released its Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Sector Strategy to leverage the state’s capabilities and grow the sector on a global scale to create local jobs.
Identified as one of Victoria’s key Future Industries, the medtech and pharmaceutical sector employs more than 23,000 people in Victoria and generates more than $12.5 billion in revenue each year.