New Jersey's Best and Brightest Minds Discuss Challenges Facing Medical Innovation, Call for Policies to Preserve U.S. Leadership in Research and Development

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 General News
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Former Majority Leader Richard Gephardt Brings Together A-List from New Jersey's Science, Medicine, Biotech Communities for "Best and Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation"

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several of New Jersey's most prominent leaders in biopharmaceuticals, research, medicine and technology gathered today at the Liberty Science Center to discuss the importance of medical innovation in New Jersey, and throughout the United States.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090325/DC89081LOGO)

Richard Gephardt, former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and chairman of the Council for American Medical Innovation, moderated the Best and Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation. The forum highlighted the contributions of innovators in the state of New Jersey, and addressed the challenges they face. Participants in the forum called for new policies to support medical innovation, science and discovery in the state - suggesting that discoveries in the life sciences and medicine are critical to New Jersey's economic recovery.

"Medical innovation has an enormous impact on the health and economy of the United States and it is an integral part of New Jersey's economy," Gephardt said. "When we find ways to support medical innovation, we create jobs, drive investment and improve our health. While America still leads the world in science and technology, other countries are gaining on us at amazing speeds. We need to act now by laying a strong foundation with intelligent policies that will preserve our leadership in medical innovation and allow science and medical discovery to flourish today, tomorrow and into the future."

Medical innovation is an important source of employment and investment in New Jersey, where the biopharmaceutical sector supported a total of 211,287 jobs and $58.9 billion in output in 2006, according to a recent study conducted by Archstone Consulting and Dr. Lawton R. Burns, Director, The Wharton Center for Health Management and Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

This study also found:

"Medical innovation plays a significant role in New Jersey's economy," said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., (NJ-6), who was a featured speaker at the forum. "The pharmaceutical and medical technology industries support hundreds of thousands of jobs here, and the medical research and breakthroughs happening in our universities bring countless benefits to the people of our state. We must continue to work hard to maintain New Jersey's distinction as 'the medicine chest of the world'."

In addition to the economic importance of medical innovation to the state of New Jersey, speakers addressed the public policies that are needed to ensure New Jersey continues to be a leading place to conduct world-class life sciences research and business in coming years.

"The medical innovation industry has become New Jersey's most important economic engine. We know how to discover and develop breakthrough medicines, technologies and treatments," said Bob Franks, President of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey. "But if we are to remain competitive, we are going to need policies that provide better incentives for investment in research, development and its application. We need to give innovators and investors tangible encouragement to take the kinds of risks that are necessary to have big medical breakthroughs. Outdated policies in this area must be improved."

Gephardt also emphasized how science education, and the research and discovery that comes out of it, needs to be the backbone of the nation's overall economic strategy. "As a country we need to encourage more students to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, attract the best and brightest researchers to our universities, and support basic scientific research and development."

Panelists participating in today's forum included top minds in academia, industry, and patient advocacy:

The Council for American Medical Innovation is a national coalition of leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, who have joined together to urge policymakers to adopt a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. The Council for American Innovation co-hosted the event with the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey and We Work for Health New Jersey.

The Council for American Medical Innovation has hosted Best and Brightest Forums on Medical Innovation in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Lansing and plans to continue these high-level discussions in various cities across the country.

About the Council for American Medical Innovation

The United States faces serious challenges to maintaining its leadership position in innovation. The Council for American Medical Innovation is bringing together leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, who are working in partnership toward a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. American medical innovators create millions of high-paying jobs, and their discoveries are integral in the fight to cure cancer and other illnesses. The Council for American Medical Innovation views leadership in medical innovation as a key part of America's economic recovery, future prosperity and health. For more information on the Council for American Medical Innovation, visit www.americanmedicalinnovation.org.

About the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ)

The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey is a trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in New Jersey. Founded in 1997, the Institute serves as a unified voice for the industry and seeks to build awareness of this industry's impact on New Jersey's quality of life and economic well-being. There are currently 35 members of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey. For more information about the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, visit www.hinj.org.

About We Work For Health New Jersey

We work for Health is a grassroots initiative that unites health consumers, biopharmaceutical company employees and retirees, vendors, suppliers and other business, academic and community partners to demonstrate how these diverse groups work together to improve America's health care system and strengthen our economy. For more information about We Work for Health visit www.weworkforhealth.org.

-- Biopharmaceutical companies invested $7.9 billion in research and development in New Jersey in 2006. -- Direct biopharmaceutical wages in New Jersey were estimated to be $5.8 billion in 2006, resulting in an estimated $1.5 billion in federal taxes and $165.2 million in state taxes. -- In 2008, U.S. scientists and researchers were conducting 21,795 studies to develop medicines targeting cancers, rare diseases, and other important conditions. Of these trials, 2,016 (10% of U.S. trials) were active in New Jersey.

SOURCE Council for American Medical Innovation


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