Biopharmaceutical Research Sector: Contributes to Patient Health and U.S. Economic Health

Biopharmaceutical Research Sector: Contributes to Patient Health and U.S. Economic Health

04.12.12 | By

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a new report showing that the intellectual property intensive industries - like the biopharmaceutical research sector - contribute $5 trillion and 40 million jobs to the U.S. economy (see the press release here). The Commerce Department's findings expand upon one of two key themes that we've been highlighting here are PhRMA over the past couple of years, and which are echoed in the newly released 2012 PhRMA Industry Profile.

First, new medicines are important to improving patient health and helping to fight disease and keep healthcare costs down. And this sector makes an enormous, positive contribution to the U.S. economy, especially in the current challenging economic environment.

How important? PhRMA today released its 2011 review of member company R&D investments, which shows nearly $50 billion invested last year in R&D. This sum, in a very difficult economy, is significant. According to CEO and president John J. Castellani:

"Despite facing market, scientific and regulatory challenges, the U.S. biopharmaceutical sector - led by our member companies - remains a major contributor to American innovation. PhRMA member companies' investment represents a boost to America's economy, with 78 percent of those dollars invested on our shores. But more importantly, it shows a continued commitment to medical progress that will continue to bring new solutions to America's patients."

And, just to underscore how important this contribution is to the U.S. economy, a recent report by the National Science Foundation indicated the U.S. biopharmaceutical sector today accounts for the single largest share of all U.S. business R&D, representing nearly 20 percent of all domestic R&D funded by U.S. businesses. In fact, in the U.S., PhRMA member R&D expenditures represented a remarkable 21.1 percent of domestic sales.

While we must always keep in mind that meeting patient needs must come first in biopharmaceutical research, both American patients AND our economy benefit from R&D done in the U.S. As we continue seeking solutions to the healthcare challenges we confront, it is essential that we keep both in mind.

Follow Grady on Twitter @GradyAtPhRMA.

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