Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2010) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“Like President Obama, we believe that economic recovery and growth in America hinges on our ability to create new jobs. Ultimately, we can only be a healthier and more prosperous nation if we continue to lay a strong foundation that supports American ingenuity and innovation.
“In the recently unveiled Strategy for American Innovation, the White House recognized that the government should give America’s world-leading innovators every chance to succeed. We agree – across all business sectors, U.S. jobs are created by American innovation.
“According to the most recent estimates, the biopharmaceutical sector employs nearly 700,000 workers domestically. But the impact of innovation extends beyond that base. In fact, every job in the biopharmaceutical sector supports 3.7 jobs in other sectors, leading to a total of more than three million American jobs supported by this industry.
“Simply put, the creation of jobs leads to even more jobs. And the ripple effect that we have seen within our sector starts with innovation and an unparalleled dedication to R&D.
“America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies invested roughly $283.9 billion in R&D in the five years between 2004 and 2008, with PhRMA members alone investing $218.5 billion for the same period.
“According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ‘pharmaceutical industry is one of the most research-intensive industries in the United States. Pharmaceutical firms invest as much as five times more in research and development, relative to their sales, than the average U.S. manufacturing firm.’
“Importantly, this commitment to R&D and resulting innovative work doesn’t just boost the economy, it saves lives.
“Since 1950, life expectancy in the U.S. has increased by nearly a decade, and it’s continuing to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medicines have helped make this possible.
“What’s more, great strides in medical innovation have helped heart disease death rates in America drop more than 34 percent between 1995 and 2005 and HIV/AIDS deaths drop by more than 70 percent since 1995. Since 1980, life expectancy for cancer patients has increased by about three years – gains that are mostly attributable to new treatments.
“With more than 2,900 compounds in the development pipeline, millions of patients have great reason for hope. However, continued medical progress can only be realized if policymakers support the critical work that innovators do to help improve the health of millions of patients today and tomorrow.
“In the end, these exciting new advances in medical care should be available to everyone. We continue to believe that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services. No one should be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, and no one should lose their home or face bankruptcy because they are uninsured or underinsured.
“We remain committed to do our part to help expand access to the tens of millions of Americans who are uninsured today and who all too often are forced to make difficult choices when faced with a serious illness or medical emergency.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
PhRMA Internet Address: www.phrma.org
For information on stories of hope and survival, visit: http://sharingmiracles.com/
PhRMA en Español: www.nuestraphrma.org
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: www.pparx.org
For more information on public health emergencies, visit: www.rxresponse.org