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News and Press: MichBio News

Rapundalo: Michigan Residents Should Support Bioscience

Monday, May 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
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Michigan is changing the world. Innovative biomedical and life science companies across the state are on the cutting edge of research and development. Many of these companies have been leaders in the state and biosciences industry for years; however, their work is often unnoticed or underappreciated. Life changing innovations made in Michigan should be heralded, and that’s why we’re proud to announce the formation of the Innovate Michigan coalition.

The coalition, consisting of organizations and individuals from various backgrounds like bioscience companies, academic and clinical research institutions, patient and disease advocacy groups, and others, is committed to advancing the critical work in biomedical research and innovation conducted in Michigan. The bio-industry provides a wealth of benefits to the state that many may not fully appreciate. For example, every day, organizations employing thousands of Michiganders are working on treatments for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases, while providing high-wage jobs.

Through my work at MichBio, the statewide biosciences industry association, and before that as a biopharmaceutical scientist involved in the discovery of such drugs as Lipitor and others, I have experienced the bio-industry’s broad impact firsthand. However, despite Michigan being among the national leaders in the biopharmaceutical sector, the industry and its essential work is often invisible to elected officials and the general public.

Few people are aware that:

•Nearly 100,000 jobs are supported directly and secondarily by the biopharmaceutical industry in Michigan;

•Nearly $200 million was invested in clinical trials in Michigan in 2013;

•That investment in clinical trials resulted in about $488 million in total economic impact for the state.

•The average wage for biopharmaceutical jobs in Michigan is $78,444.

These are just some of the facts that representatives of Innovate Michigan and the bio-industry generally will be sharing with legislators on April 26 as a part of the Michigan Biosciences Day at the Capitol. If the state is to further advance its biopharmaceutical industry, the work must start in Lansing. Informing legislators about the groundbreaking work being done in Michigan, and its impact to the state’s economy, and more importantly, what Michigan must do to spur growth of the biopharmaceutical industry, is essential. They need to know that hiring skilled and talented individuals into high-quality, high-paying jobs ensures a future for our students. In addition, commercially viable enterprises contribute greatly to personal income and strengthen the sustainability and vibrancy of local communities. In turn, consistent business success attracts investors, new projects, and more jobs to fill.

The work extends far beyond Lansing though. Patients and the general public should be made aware that growing the bio-industry is important for them too. By constantly innovating and translating new discoveries into impactful products for society, organizations are advancing new therapies and technologies that will change lives, improve healthcare delivery and personal well being, and generally enhance the quality of life of our citizens.

By leveraging the medical expertise and cutting-edge pharmaceutical industry, Michigan can grow and diversify its entire economy.

One critical aspect of this strategy is to bring together industry leaders, educators, researchers, and clinicians to ensure the bio-industry has access to novel scientific breakthroughs, as well as to the workforce that can help innovate and develop those discoveries into life-saving treatments and consumer products. This means furthering a collaborative relationship that will enable a pipeline of talent, technology, and information for the future.

Right now, research and development is occurring in Michigan on medicines to cure chronic diseases. And the entire pharmaceutical and biosciences industry is driving economic growth for the state.

Michigan has an opportunity to advance these efforts even further. By supporting the bio-industry and creating a business climate that encourages innovation and company growth through favorable policies, everyone in the state will benefit. The biosciences and pharmaceutical industry has over a 150-year legacy of success in Michigan, and developing the industry further will ensure those benefits continue.

Stephen Rapundalo is president and CEO of MichBio, an organization dedicated to driving the growth of Michigan’s bio-industry through education, business support and advocacy.

 

View source article via Lansing State Journal Here.


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