The pharmaceutical and bio-medical research industry is hoping to remind New Yorkers that it's had a major impact on their lives. YNN's Bill Carey says a group representing companies and researchers is out with a report claiming to have improved the state's physical and financial health.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association chose Bristol-Myers Squibb's East Syracuse campus to release its report on clinical trials across New York.
The group says it's not seeking any major, new incentives, nor is it battling any new threats on the horizon. It just wanted New Yorkers to know the impact research has had on the state.
“The environment's great in New York. A third of all clinical trials nationally take place here. But we want to make sure that continues to happen,” said Kaelan Hollon, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association.
The argument is that companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb are job creators. The latest figures available, from 2008, show 201,000 New Yorkers have jobs associated with the pharmaceutical industry.
“That's direct jobs and even hundreds of thousands more indirectly supported. Billions of dollars are going into the New York economy, thanks to clinical trials,” Hollon said.
And good paying jobs, as well. Average salaries in the field are in the $72,000 a year range, about $20,000 higher than the overall state average. The work on clinical trials and bio-medical research pump over $5 billion a year in salaries into New York. And the nature of the group's work, it claims, will mean more benefits for the state in the years to come.
“The total cost of health care in New York State this year is going to be about $198.2 billion. $198.2 billion. And, by 2020, that number's going to grow to just over $318 billion. By reducing the amount of chronic disease a few percentage points, we can save billions of dollars to this state,” said Nathan Tinker of the New York Biotechnology Association.
In the end, though, beyond the economics, the industry says the big beneficiaries of its work are people who are taking part in the thousands of clinical trials that promise hope for new treatments and even cures.
“For anyone struggling with their own health condition, or that of a loved one, medical research provides much needed optimism for a better quality of life and a healthier future,” said Kathleen Arnsten of the Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern New York..
Reason, they say, to make growth in the industry a key goal in the years ahead.
There are currently more than 1,200 ongoing clinical trials in New York State, most focused on key chronic diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.