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Fort Dodge Animal Health makes strides around globe

by 5m Editor
7 April 2003, at 12:00am

US - Participants at this week’s Brown Bag Briefing at the library learned about Fort Dodge Animal Health’s leading role in its industry from Tim Carlson, director of human resources for the company.

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Fort Dodge Animal Health... more The company began in Fort Dodge as the Fort Dodge Serum Co. in 1912 as a hog cholera serum manufacturer and has become a leading manufacturer and distributor of prescription and over-the-counter distributor animal health care products for livestock and companion animals.

‘‘We are global,’’ Carlson said. ‘‘We have manufacturing sites throughout the world and we deliver products to over 100 different countries.’’

Fort Dodge Animal Health is the No. 1 veterinary biological (vaccine) manufacturer in the world and ranks second in veterinary vaccine sales in North America according to Carlson.

Fort Dodge Animal Health is a division of Wyeth, a research-based global pharmaceutical company responsible for the discovery and development of some of today’s most innovative medicines. In 1945, Fort Dodge Animal Health became a part of American Home Products. Five years ago American Home Products made the decision to concentrate more on pharmaceutical and health care business.

Since 1965, American Home Products has acquired several other companies which helped them expand into the global market. Unlike many of their competitors, Fort Dodge Animal Health is a full-service veterinary health care company, involved in both the pharmaceutical and biological business providing more than 2,360 products for bovine, canine, equine, feline, poultry and swine. A year ago American Home Products changed its name to Wyeth, which had been a division of American Home Products.

‘‘Here in Fort Dodge we have the majority of the biological and research development, about 73 folks in our facility are out there developing and improving products,’’ he said. Thirty-four people on site have doctorate degrees.

There are actually two Fort Dodge Animal Health sites in Fort Dodge, the main office on the west edge of town, which is mostly manufacturing, and the Riverside Facility near the Des Moines River, which is mostly a packing and finishing operation. The main office employs 592 people, 72 of which are in research and development. The Riverside Facility employs 265 people.

Fort Dodge Animal Health also has biological manufacturing and distributing sites in Charles City, and in Brazil, Ireland, Spain, Australia, and the Netherlands. In addition, they have pharmaceutical facilities in Charles City, Spain, Taiwan and Italy.

The three sites in Iowa produce 58 percent of the company’s global sales.

The Fort Dodge facility receives eight to 10 inspections annually from the various agencies involved in the industry. The FDA utilizes the Fort Dodge facility as a training ground for new inspectors.

No other company can boast of such an impressive list of firsts, Carlson said. That list includes 10 different vaccines, including vaccines for canine parvovirus, canine Lyme disease, feline leukemia, and feline ringworm. The company’s newest products include vaccines for foals against equine rotavirus which causes diarrhea, a vaccine against equine influenza, and the first six-month heartworm treatment for dogs.

Recently the Centers for Disease Control approached Fort Dodge Animal Health about developing a West Nile vaccine for horses. The company developed a product and within 14 months got a conditional license to distribute the vaccine, Carlson said.

Carlson is a graduate of the University of Iowa and worked in human resources for United States Gypsum in Fort Dodge, then in Burlington and in Dayton, Ohio, before deciding to move back to Fort Dodge, his wife’s hometown, three years ago to work for Fort Dodge Animal Health. He also oversees human resources at Fort Dodge Animal Health facilities in Charles City; Wilmington, Ohio; and Princeton, N.J.

Source: Robert Wolf, The Messenger correspondent - 7th April 2003

5m Editor