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Blu Pharmaceuticals Opens Puerto Rico Plant

Blu Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a Kentucky-based generic drug sales and distribution company, opened a new manufacturing plant today in Dorado, Puerto Rico. The move represents a $60 million investment by the company, whose Puerto Rican operation will be known as Blu Caribe, Inc. It is expected to employ 250 people within the next three years at the 145,000-square-foot, FDA-approved plant, which was previously owned by the drug corporation Biovail. Blu retained 170 Biovail employees from the purchase.

"The stars aligned for us in Puerto Rico," said Bill Luster, president of Blu Pharmaceuticals. "We were able to acquire a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for pennies on the dollar of what it would have cost for us to build an operation from the ground up, plus we were able to tap into a highly talented work force."

The Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico and Small Business Administration extended $10 million in financing to purchase the facility and equipment. The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company also offered economic incentives to attract Blu.

"In today's tough financing environment, it made a big difference that the Puerto Rican government was willing to partner with us to help finance the project," Luster said.

Blu Caribe will produce seven different drugs, including ciprofloxacin, an anthrax antidote. It also plans to open a research and development segment. Blu supplies generic drugs to wholesalers, group purchasing organizations, mail order pharmacies, and government agencies including the Veteran's Administration, Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Services, and the Department of Defense.

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