Clinical Trials Fuel Local Economies

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'Ripple effect' of clinical research spending pumped $27 billion into economic activity in local U.S. communities in 2017

Clinical trial professionals have much to be proud about when they get to work each morning. Improving quality of life. Advancing medical innovations. Giving hope to the hopeless.

Turns out, they’re pumping up local economies, too.

America’s biopharmaceutical companies sponsored more than 4,500 clinical trials in 2017 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, according to a new report from Teconomy Partners LLC. These companies also account for more than half (53%) of all U.S. investments in health and biomedical research and development, including significant spending in clinical research.

The biopharmaceutical industry invested more than $15 billion on clinical research at trial sites across the U.S. in 2017, the most recent year for the data. “These resources are in addition to the significant resources invested in clinical trial-related activities occurring outside the individual trial sites, such as trial design, coordination, and centralized data analysis,” says the report, “Biopharmaceutical Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials: Growing State Economies.”

While $15 billion already sounds like a big chunk of change, the report notes the “ripple effect” of spending by clinical trial vendors and contractors generated another $27 billion in economic activity in communities throughout the U.S. in 2017.

Broadly speaking, states with the biggest populations posted the highest number of active clinical trials in 2017. California topped the list with 2,152, followed by Texas (1,989), Florida (1,735), New York (1,707), and North Carolina (1,196).

However, the survey noted that because much trial work occurs “in the field” with doctors, trial centers and visiting volunteer participants, “sizable investments often occur in states that may not typically be associated with a substantive biopharmaceutical industry presence, e.g. Ohio, Arizona, Tennessee, and Utah.”

Author: Michael Causey