Press Release

Biopharmaceutical Companies Boost Montana Economy

PhRMA September 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 13, 2013) –  Working in collaboration with Montana clinicians and research institutions, America’s biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted more than 800 clinical trials of potential new medicines in Montana over the last 14 years, according to a new report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

The report – “Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in Montana” – was released today at a panel discussion in Billings sponsored by the Montana Healthcare Access Network, Montana BioScience Alliance and PhRMA.  The panelists stressed that clinical trials conducted by biopharmaceutical research companies – and in collaboration with the state’s university medical schools, hospitals and contract research organizations – have benefited patients, the state’s economy and the advancement of science and patient care.   

“Clinical trials give Montana’s patients access to cutting-edge research, treatment and quality care,” said Sharon Peterson, executive director of the Montana BioScience Alliance.  “This clinical research not only shapes the future of disease treatment, but also employs Montanans and stimulates our economy.”

The research in Montana includes 469 clinical trials of new medicines for the most debilitating chronic diseases: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, mental illnesses and asthma.  More than 60 of these trials are still recruiting patients at a time when clinical research can serve as a therapeutic option for people to discuss with their health care providers.

“The future of disease treatment depends entirely on the clinical trials process,” said Suzanne Belser, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Montana Chapter. “The aim is to get faster, better, more effective therapies to patients and as a patient advocate, I know these clinical trials have the potential to mitigate and eventually eradicate the devastating impact of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Patients and their families can hope to live longer and healthier lives because of the research being conducted in Montana and around the world.”

The “Research in Your Backyard” report highlights how clinical trials in Montana are addressing the serious challenges of chronic disease:

  • An estimated 33,000 residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.  Currently, 12 clinical trials of potential new treatments for diabetes are recruiting patients in Montana.
  • In 2011, nearly 2,000 residents died from some form of heart disease and 451 died from a stroke, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Eight heart disease and four stroke clinical trials are currently seeking Montana patients.
  • About 39,000 adults and 10,000 children in the state live with serious mental health conditions, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Currently, two mental illness clinical trials are recruiting patients in Montana.
  • Nearly 5,500 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the state this year and 2,000 victims will die, according to the American Cancer Society. Currently, 31 clinical trials of new cancer medicines are recruiting patients in Montana.

The report also delves into the economic power of clinical trials.  Research institutions such as Glacier View Research Institute in Kalispell, Saint Peter’s Community Hospital in Helena, Saint James Community Hospital and Cancer Treatment Center in Butte, Advanced Neurology Specialists in Great Falls and Montana Health Research Institute in Billings are able to engage in cutting-edge biomedical science in collaboration with biopharmaceutical research companies.     

Biopharmaceutical research companies boost the economy by supporting jobs and helping to generate tax revenue for the federal and state governments.  Governor Steve Bullock’s Office of Economic Development estimates that in 2011, the bioscience industries supported more than 7,000 jobs in the state.  A Battelle Technology Partnership Practice study found wages and benefits for employees working directly for the biopharmaceutical sector alone resulted in about $15 million in federal taxation and $2 million in state and local taxes in 2011. 

For a list of clinical trials recruiting patients and their locations in Montana, consult the appendix of the “Research in Your Backyard” report.  Montana clinical trial information can also be found at, the trials database of the National Institutes of Health. 



The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested over $500 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $48.5 billion in 2012 alone. 

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