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Biopharmaceutical Industry Leads Manufacturing Sector in R&D Spending

Mark Grayson   |     March 23, 2015   |   SHARE THIS

The biopharmaceutical industry comes out on top as the country’s manufacturing leader in innovation and economic contributions in a new report from ndp | analytics.

According to the analysis, the industry had the highest research and development (R&D) investment over the last decade, accounting for 27 percent of average annual R&D spending from 2000-2012. At 25 percent, the industry also had the highest growth rate in this area.

Compared to other “intellectual property (IP)-intensive” manufacturing industries, the biopharmaceutical industry invested more than 5 times in R&D per employee. In total, biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies contribute $515,000 per employee to the U.S. economy.


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Employees of these companies directly benefit from higher productivity, earning higher than average wages than the manufacturing sector overall. These jobs are also sustainable — while other manufacturing industries experienced job losses in the decade studied, biopharmaceutical employment remained unchanged.

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In a broader related report, ndp | analytics examined a variety of IP-intensive industries and found those that invest more in R&D have an outsized impact on the economy — from driving innovation and manufacturing exports to creating new jobs and growing wages.

While our industry is proud to be in first place, the important takeaway is we must all keep innovating, so we can deliver the highest quality and advanced technologies to the people who depend on them. To do so, we need to rally for policies that preserve IP rights and protections and incentivize R&D spending.

Mark Grayson

Mark Grayson Mark Grayson is a former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on intellectual property, trade and international issues.

Topics: Economic Impact, Intellectual Property

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