Pharm jobs lost, but industry still strong

December 22, 2010

Unfortunately, it’s bad news for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries in New Jersey — nearly 5,000 jobs were lost last year. But the good news is that didn’t affect the industry’s impact on the state economy.

In fact, record levels were reached — $29.2 billion, according to a Star-Ledger story, even though two makers were eliminated:

Pfizer paid $68 billion to bring Madison-based Wyeth into its folds and Merck merged with Schering-Plough in a transaction valued at $41.1 billion. … Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant which had its U.S. offices in Nutley, also diminished its footprint in the state last year when it moved its headquarters to South San Francisco.

What does this mean? Obviously, the market is there, if the impact from the industry still reached record levels. And the state legislature is already working to create a list of pharmaceutical assets in the state, and encourage collaboration between the industry and academia, to share resources.

With the way the pharmaceutical industry is growing — especially through internet and television ads spreading the word about new drugs — I would think it’s a good idea for every state to have a strong industry presence. If the state were to somehow recoup some of the lost jobs, perhaps New Jersey could have an even bigger impact on the industry.

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