Drug Research Generates 200,000 Jobs In New York

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The biopharmaceutical industry, including Acorda Therapeutics in Ardsley, has brought 200,000 jobs and millions in tax revenue to New York, according to a report released this week. Photo Credit: Army Medicine via Flickr

ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Clinical trials and drug development in New York not only help people battle diseases, but also generate jobs, tax revenue and research spending, according to a report released Monday.

The report, Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, was released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and highlights the economic benefits of New York’s role in drug development. The biotechnology industry, including Acorda Therapeutics in Ardsley, is a significant source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending. According to the report, biotechnology accounted for more than 201,000 jobs in New York in 2008, and people employed by the industry earned $2.8 billion and paid more than $99 million in state taxes and $646 million in federal taxes that year. In addition to supporting jobs and generating tax revenue, the industry invested $2.1 billion in research and development in 2008, and spent $50.9 billion on products and services.

“The biotechnology industry, including biopharmaceutical research and the development of new medicines, is an important and growing part of New York State’s economy,” Nathan Tinker, executive director of the New York Biotechnology Association, said in the report. “Biopharmaceutical research firms frequently work in partnership with hospitals, medical schools and other research institutions, which facilitates the participation of New Yorkers in thousand of clinical trials throughout the state.”

Biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted more than 6,200 clinical trials in research centers, universities, medical schools and hospitals in the state, making up almost one-third of all trials conducted nationwide, according to the report. More than half of those trials test drugs aimed at treating the six most debilitating diseases in the nation: asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and stroke.

At the Acorda Therapeutics headquarters in Ardsley, the main drug produced, Ampyra, fights the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, said Jeff Macdonald, senior director of communications. The state has the necessary experts, facilities and willing trial participants that makes it the perfect place for testing new treatments, Macdonald said. 

“We’re very fortunate in New York that we have a lot of centers of excellence,” he said. “New York has an abundance of great hospitals, medical centers and private clinics.”

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