Ethypharm and RSSL partnership fast-track priority medicine

Ethypharm have collaborated with RSSL to accelerate the manufacture of fentanyl injection, a critical medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.


The European based specialty pharmaceutical company, Ethypharm, collaborated with Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) to accelerate the manufacture and batch release of fentanyl injection; one of the critical medicines needed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

As a major supplier of essential medicines to the NHS, Ethypharm responded to requests from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for increased volumes of priority medicines by changing its production schedule to meet this urgent need.

“We took the decision to dedicate production at our Romford facility to COVID-19 critical medicines for a three-week period - with one line used for fentanyl injection alone. We had outstanding commitment and performance from our staff on site, but we needed to be confident that these unprecedented quantities could be delivered to the front-line within the shortest time frame possible, without impacting patient safety.

“This was only achieved thanks to the exceptional support and professional approach of RSSL, who once again demonstrated why they remain one of our highly trusted partners,” explained Phil Parry, UK General Manager at Ethypharm.

RSSL reduced the conventional 6-8 week timeframe to just seven days - and provided rapid analytical and sterility test services. This agile response enabled Ethypharm to achieve an ambitious lead time of 28 days from manufacture to batch release - much faster than under normal operating conditions.

“Our ability to flex and adapt to our clients’ needs was central to this project’s success - as was the speed of our response. This meant redirecting resources across our 7 day a week operation - but without compromising any of the stringent measures we have put in place to maintain a COVID-19 work-safe environment for our teams nor the quality of our scientific rigour,” said Jacinta George, Managing Director for RSSL.

Ethypharm has now resumed business-as-usual operations at normal volumes across its full hospital product range, but is poised to repeat this emergency response plan in the event of a second peak of COVID-19 infections.

RSSL will continue to work with Ethypharm as one of its key partners. The two companies enjoy a strong working relationship, with RSSL’s specialised testing services particularly valued. More recently, RSSL has collaborated with Ethypharm on a strategic level related to the improvement and expansion of production capacity at the Romford site.

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About Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL)

Reading Scientific Services Ltd is a global leader at the forefront of scientific analysis, consultancy, product development and training, serving the pharmaceutical, healthcare, biopharmaceutical, food, drink, and consumer goods industries. For more information, please visit and follow RSSL on LinkedIn.

To learn how RSSL can support your business requirements please contact us on or call +44 (0) 118 918 4076

About Ethypharm

Ethypharm is a European pharmaceutical company focused on two therapeutic areas: the Central Nervous System and Critical Care. These two areas currently represent 62% of the Group's turnover. Ethypharm markets its drugs directly in Europe and China, and with partners in North America and the Middle East where its drugs are in high demand. The Group employs more than 1,500 people, mainly in Europe and China.

Ethypharm works closely with authorities and healthcare professionals to ensure the appropriate use of and access to its medicines, by as many people as possible.

For more information on Ethypharm, visit and follow them on LinkedIn.