Kodak to use $765 million U.S. government loan to launch new pharmaceuticals arm
The Eastman Kodak Company, known for making film and other photography-related products, will receive a $765 million loan from the federal government in order to start producing pharmaceutical ingredients.
A new division, Kodak Pharmaceuticals, will focus on producing two types of chemicals used to manufacture generic pills and tablets, creating 350 jobs in Rochester, New York, and St. Paul, Minnesota. In recent years, Kodak has made some materials for pharmaceutical companies, Executive Chairman Jim Continenza told The Washington Post, and the company is “truly doing this to help tighten and fix the supply chain of pharmaceuticals in America.” Kodak has struggled to survive in a world with digital cameras and smart phones, but the company’s stock more than tripled after the loan was announced.
The federal government wants to stop relying so much on China, India, and other foreign countries for medicine, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is lending Kodak the money to launch its new project. The agency said about 40 percent of the global supply of drug ingredients is used to make generic medications for Americans, but just 10 percent of the materials are made in the United States.
In May, President Trump signed an executive order giving the DFC authority under the Defense Production Act to finance health-care manufacturing projects amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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