The Congressional Budget Office stated in a 2006 report on R&D that, "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 US manufacturing firm."
However, as we look to the future and work to promote the sustainable growth of the sector, we know that challenges remain.
We believe that one of the best ways to achieve sustainable growth is through collaboration. The combination of federal and
state funding in medical research along with substantial private investment—and the public-private partnerships that follow—are
an important way to foster economic growth at the state and regional levels.
Many states have implemented a range of policies and programs in recent years to help attract and grow jobs in the biopharmaceutical
sector, providing an important economic counterpoint to the national programs in countries outside the United States intended
to woo America's biopharmaceutical companies. From tax credits to the development of technology parks in collaboration with
university systems, these efforts have helped create innovation clusters that lead to job growth and the stimulation of local
Unfortunately, as the report commissioned by CAMI points out, although the US was one of the first countries to offer an R&D
tax credit beginning in 1981, we have not kept up with the efforts made by other countries. It is time our national policymakers
follow suit with the many successful state efforts that have stimulated the biopharmaceutical sector, along with America's
other innovative industries.
These programs, which could promote private investment, inform regulatory policy, advocate translational research and public-private
partnerships, and develop scientific talent through improved educational platforms, would enhance the work of biopharmaceutical
research companies. The benefit to both America's patients and to America's economy could, as we rebuild, be immeasurable.
Ken Johnson is senior vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).