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Former Congressman Dick Gephardt Brings National Spotlight to Rhode Island with 'Best and Brightest Forum on Medical Innovation'
Date:12/14/2009

novation is an important source of employment and investment in Rhode Island, where the biopharmaceutical sector supported a total of 10,063 jobs and $2.3 billion in output in 2006, according to a recent study conducted by Archstone Consulting and Dr. Lawton R. Burns, Director, The Wharton Center for Health Management and Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

This study also found that biopharmaceutical companies invested $24.4 million in research and development in Rhode Island in 2006, and in 2008, Rhode Island's scientists, researchers and engineers conducted 769 active clinical trials in the state.

Participants at the forum said that new policies are needed in order to ensure continued economic growth and health benefits from medical innovation in the region.

"New England is a global leader in biotechnology and the life sciences, and the state of Rhode Island has the potential for enormous growth in the very near future," said Paul R. Pescatello, chairman of the New England Biotech Association and President and CEO of Connecticut United for Research Excellence. "Policies that support innovation and encourage economic development are critical to this growth. We need legislators and officials at the local, state and federal levels to adopt policies that assure access to breakthrough medicines for patients, provide tax incentives for research and development and the jobs that come with it, increase collaboration between industry and academia, and ensure continued investment by protecting patents and intellectual property."

Gephardt also emphasized the importance of educating our next generation of scientists and researchers, saying education is another critical element for the nation's overall economic recovery. "As a country we need to encourage more students to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, attract the best and brightest researchers to our u
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SOURCE Council for American Medical Innovation
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