New Reports Highlight Increasing Global Competition in Biopharmaceutical R&D, Posing Significant Challenges to Future U.S. Standing

Advancing Comprehensive Public Policy Solutions Can Support U.S. Biophamaceutical Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 5, 2017) — As the U.S. looks to maintain its global leadership in biopharmaceutical research and development, three new reports point to an increasingly competitive global environment—one that requires a thorough assessment of our current public policies, including our investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-based initiatives at the state and national levels given the growing efforts of other countries to compete for the high-wage jobs and robust economic contributions of innovative biopharmaceutical companies.

“The American biopharmaceutical industry is the global leader in research and development (R&D) and has delivered many of the treatments and cures that have saved millions of lives around the world,” said Dr. Anne Pritchett, vice president, policy and research, at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).  “Yet, these advances and breakthroughs are only possible through continued support of public policies that promote a highly-skilled, diverse American workforce; support a science-based regulatory system; and ensure a level-playing field with robust trade policies and intellectual property protections.” 

Driving Innovation and Economic Growth for the 21st Century: State Efforts to Attract and Grow the Biopharmaceutical Industry reviews state policies aimed at driving economic growth by fostering medical innovation in local communities. As state policymakers look to support job growth and workforce diversity, this report provides a blueprint for how various policies and programs can support the growth of both R&D and manufacturing operations.

These efforts are critical as the U.S. faces mounting global competition as other countries are increasingly implementing similar programs and strategies. Closing the Gap: Increasing Global Competition to Attract and Grow the Biopharmaceutical Sector identifies countries that are increasingly focused on building their own biomedical R&D and manufacturing infrastructure—with a heavy focus on growing their STEM workforces—in an effort to better compete with the U.S. and encourage critical investments to shift from the U.S. to those countries. Singapore and China, for example, continue to outpace the U.S. in terms of key STEM indicators. This is particularly alarming given that Enhancing Today’s STEM Workforce to Ensure Tomorrow’s New Medicines finds that current estimates suggest U.S. manufacturers will need to hire about 3.4 million workers by 2025 and that up to 60 percent of those positions are likely to go unfilled due to the STEM-related skills gap in the U.S. Thus, these reports should serve as a call to action to ensure we have the right policies in place in the U.S. to retain our global leadership position and seize the potential for continued economic growth.

To counter this trend, there are a number of policy prescriptions the U.S. should adopt including continued investment and support for STEM-based education efforts to sustain its competitive advantage.  

“As we look to the future, our nation’s innovative biopharmaceutical companies are committed to partnering with schools of all levels across the country to develop the next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians who are critical to advancing new treatments and cures,” Dr. Pritchett added. “Continued support of STEM-based initiatives and educational opportunities will make it possible for America to continue to grow the economy – an economy that today includes 4.5 million jobs supported by the biopharmaceutical industry.”

To view the reports and related infographics, click here.

About PhRMA
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than half a trillion dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.

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