Planting Seeds for Massachusetts’ Future

4/22/11

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biopharmaceutical research sector, their efforts are verifiably contributing to the creation of great jobs and a stronger state economy.

Recently released research commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) finds that the state’s biopharmaceutical research sector was directly responsible for nearly 40,000 Massachusetts jobs. Each direct sector job helped to create and support an additional 87,000 indirect and induced jobs for a total of nearly 127,000 jobs state-wide. Better still, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council reports that the direct jobs created in the biopharmaceutical research sector earn some of the highest wages anywhere—as much as 64 percent more than the average Massachusetts salary.

But what is critically important to remember is that this is a relatively young industry. The biopharmaceutical medical revolution is only in its early stages. Twenty five years ago the kinds of infrastructure and policy support now fueling Massachusetts’s growth as global biopharmaceutical research center barely existed. What’s more, the hoped-for medical and economic benefits were mere speculation rather than today’s impressive facts on the ground.

Investment in the sector is already paying off. The challenge confronting policy makers and legislators at the State House is whether they have the vision to continue investing in the state’s future or instead succumb to real but more transitory economic and political pressures and pare back on the state’s historic support of the biopharmaceutical research sector.

If you look back with pride and even awe at the foresight that lead to creating MIT 150 years ago, the answer, we think, is obvious.

Christopher Viehbacher is the CEO of Sanofi-Aventis and Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Board of Directors. John J. Castellani is President and CEO of PhRMA. Follow @

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