We would like to thank GSK for giving us this valuable opportunity to learn more about the industry sector and exposing us to the biochemical industry. Here are some of the thoughts and thanks that the students would like to express to GSK for taking their invaluable time to introduce us to the company and leave us with indelible memories and giving us the unique experience.
The factory tour showed me that there was a lot of planning, a lot of considerations that went behind the contruction of the buildings and the placement of equipment. Even though it is simple logic to arrange the equipment (the starting at the top and the end of the product at the bottom of the buildnig) according, I was somewhat amused by the use of a simple law. Gravity. They made sure that no extra energy was used for the transportation of the product and I marvel at this simple fact. Going in, the mixing of chemicals, filtering process, the crystalisation process as well as the purification process is literally going from the 4th floor down to the 1st floor. I also noticed that everything in the room was made of metal. This was another smart move by GSK such that microbial effect would not be significant as those items made of stainless steel would be easily sterilized. Also, they are less prone to rusting and thus they do not have to be replaced or maintained. The gears and the huge barrels and pots are really interesting as they look excetly like those on Discovery Channel! I really appreciate GSK for taking their time off and entertaining us. -- Jonathan Thor

Through the visit to GSK, I have had more insight into the pharmaceutical companies and what they do for a living. The job is still very important despite the boring routines they go through because healthcare will always be needed by the people and medicine along with it. Without GSK, several types of medicine that we consumed might not even be in production. One such product that helps with asthma would be GSK Singapore's greatest pride, the Advair Diskus. -- Daniel Tan

The invaluable visit to GSK allowed me to see with my own eyes the whole process of producing medicine, and also being told more information about how medicine is produced, what goes into a tablet, how R&D can help make administering medicine much more effective and also moving the scaling up process. Being able to see all the machines that is used, and going around the production plant seeing the whole process (though mostly just machines) is still amazing and definitely a rare opportunity I will treasure. -- Benedict

The visit to GSK today was simply amazing. It was the first time I saw a pharmaceutical factory and the complexity of the machinery and the all so many steps needed to create a molecule from smaller molecule blew me away. I was exposed to the developmental stages of drugs after they leave the laboratory and needs to be scaled up, mechanized, and automated. It is certainly a tough process as there will be many complex problems encountered during this development process. This made me appreciate the little tablet of panadol that drives the headache away as so much work and effort are put to make such a product. I am immensely grateful to be given the opportunity to visit GSK. -- Zhao Xing Liang

Medicine can help to enable people to do more, feel better and live longer. It is a form of health care and it complements the work of other medical professionals. Primary manufacturing refers to the production of active ingredients found in drugs. Secondary manufacturing refers to the active ingredients put together to form the final product. Drugs are made up of excipients to form the bulk, powder carrier and active ingredients. I have also learned the process development, optimization and the scaling up process. It was quite an eye opener to see that to manufacture a drug takes a very long time. Research must be done first before it goes to the pilot plant and undergo clinical testing and finally for commercialization. Drugs really cost a lot and I wonder if this process can be shortened without compromising safety standards. Indeed the research and development is expensive but if drugs can be more affordable, I believe more people can benefit. -- Benjamin Cheong

The visit to GSK really enlightened me on how the science concepts learnt in school was related to how it was applied in large multinational corporations. It gave me an insight on how medicinal pills were actually made and the entire process of manufacturing a new medicinal product, right from the drawing board to try to obtain the active ingredient by trying to break down the large active ingredient to its components, followed by testing and then scaling up. It was definitely enriching, and I thank GSK for giving me the opportunity to immerse myself in such an experience. -- Rick Wong

The visit to GSK was certainly extremely interesting, and I learnt a lot about the various considerations that play a role in the scaling-up process from lab to factory. I am thankful to be given the golden opportunity to see the various equipment that are involved in producing such APIs, and I am extremely grateful to the staff at GSK who patiently answered our questions, shared their knowledge, and guided us around the factory. This enriching journey is extremely rare, and I appreciate the time and effort taken by the company to make this visit possible. - John Yap