NEW BRUNSWICK– The U.S. is quickly losing ground as a leader in medical innovation and must embrace a public policy agenda to create jobs, cure chronic disease and ensure state and national competitiveness well into the future, a group of public and private sector leaders told a gathering of innovators and health officials at the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey in Piscataway and at Cooper University Hospital in Camden Thursday.
The events, hosted by the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI), BioNJ, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) and We Work for Health New Jersey (WWFH-NJ), included the participation of Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, who now serves as the Chairman of CAMI; Caren S. Franzini, Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Dr. Richard L. McCormick, President, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Dr. Jay A. Tischfield, Executive Director, Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey and Scientific Director, Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository as well as the Chair, Department of Genetics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UMDNJ; Joaquin Duato, Company Group Chair Pharmaceuticals Americas, Johnson & Johnson; Walt H. Plosila, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice; and John P. Sheridan, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer, Cooper University Hospital.
“Medical innovation presents the best opportunity to help innovate our way out of the health and economic crises facing America today, but it’s clear the clock is ticking,” said Congressman Gephardt. “Advancing a national strategy for medical innovation that engages all sectors – public, private and academic – through an empowered federal office is an effective first step.”
“New Jersey is the global epicenter of medical innovation – the life science and pharmaceutical industry in our state not only contribute to the advancement of global human health, but the high-paying jobs, spin-off jobs, construction activity and other economic impacts that are the key driver of New Jersey’s workforce and economy,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “Finding new treatments and cures for the world’s most dreaded diseases while keeping and growing these jobs in America – and New Jersey – is of critical importance to the world’s health and our state’s economic well-being.”
At the event, CAMI and We Work for Health unveiled a public policy agenda based on a recent study by Battelle: “Gone Tomorrow? A Call to Promote Medical Innovation, Create Jobs, and Find Cures in America.” The study, commissioned by CAMI, reflects direct feedback of leaders representing patients, academia, private industry, research, labor, venture capital, government, and economic development.
Medical innovation generates high-quality jobs, and if properly fostered, could generate many more across the state. New Jersey has been known for decades for its strong concentration of large, multinational biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies – the industry employed nearly 60,000 in 2009 and contributed $58.9 billion in total output including its direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts. Each job in New Jersey’s biopharmaceutical sector contributes nearly 300 percent more than the average contribution from jobs in the rest of the state economy.
Despite tough economic times, the biomedical industry grew 14.4 percent in the last jobs cycle, compared to 4.3 percent for all other industries.
“Through discussions like we’re having at events like this today, we can reshape and adopt policies that support leadership and investment in the life sciences, spur innovation, create jobs and improve the lives of patients,” states Duato, Company Group Chairman, Pharmaceuticals – The Americas, Johnson & Johnson.
For more than a year, CAMI has met with an array of experts, including entrepreneurs, innovators, clinicians and patient advocates in communities across the United States to research and understand the challenges faced by those working to advance medical innovation. Based on those conversations, CAMI commissioned Battelle to identify and highlight the best public policy ideas, which CAMI will bring to Congress and the Obama Administration as part of a call for a focused national policy framework for medical innovation.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!