New Jersey’s life sciences community – biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and technology, and diagnostic companies – is fueled by a dynamic “innovation ecosystem,” a highly skilled workforce, collaboration among companies, multiple research universities, specialized vendor support, robust manufacturing capabilities and a world-class global transportation hub.
These key ingredients – supported by state and Congressional policymakers who recognize the life sciences’ contributions – reinforce the state’s reputation as an innovation hub.
As a result, an estimated 3,100 life sciences establishments operate in the state, according to Choose New Jersey. Impressively, 14 of the world’s top 20 research-based biopharmaceutical companies and 12 of the world’s top 20 medical technology companies maintain a significant presence in the state.
The life sciences is New Jersey’s economic crown jewel. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), in 2011, the biopharmaceutical sector alone had a total direct economic impact of $43.3 billion in New Jersey. This sector generated 71,000 direct jobs and supported another 215,000 indirect jobs in the state.
Historically, medical advancements produced by American life sciences companies – including those that call New Jersey home – have contributed vastly to improving the human condition. Over the past century, they have eradicated some of the world’s most dreaded diseases such as polio and smallpox. More recently, they have dramatically advanced treatments in cancers, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, to name a few.
Despite these extraordinary life-saving advancements, the life sciences’ work is far from done. Every day, researchers endeavor to discover the next generation of medical innovations. Formidable medical conditions – including Alzheimer’s, Ebola and different types of cancers – demonstrate the compelling need for our community to build upon its achievements.
Importantly, with these medical innovations come often-unrecognized dividends associated with better health: the incalculable financial savings to patients, their families, insurers, employers, governments and hospitals in avoided medical expenses, as well as increased economic productivity.
Medical innovation is a key part of the solution to alleviating human suffering, while significantly reducing the incalculable costs associated with treating that suffering and adding value to society.
New Jersey’s life sciences community will continue to work with policymakers, healthcare providers and the patient advocacy community to nurture the virtuous cycle of better health.