Biopharmaceutical Sector: An Important Part of Any Innovation Agenda

Biopharmaceutical Sector: An Important Part of Any Innovation Agenda

06.27.11 | By

President Obama was in Pittsburgh recently talking about innovation, manufacturing jobs and the economy. The President has been talking about innovation as a key factor in building a stronger economy since taking office. However, his agenda is often on display in traditional manufacturing venues like the one Obama is visiting today in Pittsburgh.

The Administration's vision must be broader. America's biopharmaceutical research sector is a model of innovation and a spur to economic development. Biopharmaceutical research companies are the most research intensive in the United States today. Additionally, R&D spurred on by innovation has a significant ripple effect on sector-related jobs. As of 2008, the biopharmaceutical research sector supported 3.1 million jobs across the country, including 2.4 million in other sectors. What's more, the biopharmaceutical sector is a rare source of projected growth in U.S. manufacturing jobs.
But important as the jobs and research and manufacturing facilities are to the economy and the communities they help support and build, we should not lose sight of the fact that these are all in service of a more important goal: developing new medicines to help patients live longer, healthier lives.
The upshot is that a true national innovation agenda must better recognize the role that the biopharmaceutical research sector now plays in both our economy and in efforts to improve healthcare in America. And part of that recognition means driving policies that further medical innovation, not threaten or hinder it.

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