Representatives of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey, as well as the chairman of a newly formed Mayors Committee on Life Sciences, said the findings of a Rutgers University study released this week confirm what they’ve been saying all along — that biotech and big pharma help keep New Jersey’s economy healthy, according to a report in The Record.
A study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University found that the more than 300 biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies in New Jersey are a crucial component of the state’s economy, supporting more than $7.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. Together, the industry contributed$42.8 billion in operating expenditures in 2009 and 217,546 full-time jobs. The $1.51 billion spent on construction projects in 2010 created 5,365 construction jobs.
"Pharmaceuticals are as important to New Jersey as oil and gas are to Texas, automobiles are to Michigan, and microchips are to California," said East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo, chairman of the new Mayors Committee, an effort launched by the municipalities league to promote economic development of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in the state and to educate lawmakers and residents about the importance of the industry.
The Rutgers study estimated that biotech, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies contributed $23 billion to New Jersey’s gross domestic product in 2009-2010, just under 5% of the state’s total GDP.
"We’re known as the pharmaceutical state, but we cannot rest on our laurels," said Bill Dressler, director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. "We have to build on that."