While the biopharmaceutical industry is the global leader in generating innovative medicines and technologies, lesser known is the industry’s central role in sustaining economic growth. A recent study from NDP Analytics finds that intellectual property (IP)-intensive manufacturing industries have an outsized positive impact on the economy and support 57.6 million American jobs. The study also finds that the biopharmaceutical industry leads as a critical sector, driving economic progress and supporting quality jobs.
Across IP-intensive manufacturing industries, the biopharmaceutical industry leads across several key economic factors including:
- Contribution to the US economy: Average output in the biopharmaceutical industry was $820,322 per employee, compared to $566,984 in other IP-intensive manufacturing industries and $471,072 across all manufacturing industries.
- Wages: On average, biopharmaceutical employees earned over 30 percent more annually than employees in other IP-intensive industries, and 60 percent more annually than employees across all manufacturing industries.
- Investment in Research and Development: The biopharmaceutical industry invests, on average, $203,085 in R&D per employee, which is 13 times the average for all manufacturing industries. Other IP-intensive industries invest $32,406 in R&D per employee, while manufacturing industries in general only invest $15,520 in R&D per employee.
These figures illustrate the biopharmaceutical industry’s crucial role in creating and supporting high-paying, high-value jobs. In addition to developing innovative treatments and cures and reducing preventable health care costs, the biopharmaceutical industry is a huge contributor to sustained economic growth and prosperity.
As the study demonstrates, IP-intensive industries, including the biopharmaceutical industry, help drive sustained economic growth, high-paying jobs, and investments in research & development. But these important economic contributions are undermined when intellectual property, the linchpin of the biopharmaceutical industry, is threatened. To protect continued economic progress, it’s crucial that strong intellectual property systems are protected.
Tim McClung Tim is a director of policy & research at PhRMA.