Reports & Publications
Jobs Today: Cures Tomorrow—Innovation and the Biopharmaceutical Industry
Our nation’s biopharmaceutical industry is vital to the personal health of our people and the economic health of our country. At the current time, and in the current political and regulatory environment, we are at the edge of a precipice: We can either adjust our policies and remain the international leader in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing, or we can watch the industry move overseas, like so many before it. It is a harsh reality, but one that is simultaneously rife with opportunity.
The unions and companies of the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) recognize that, especially in the current economy, America needs a sustainable and growing biopharmaceutical industry. Directly and indirectly, our industry supports jobs for 3.2 million people in all 50 states. But, without changes to our national industry-related policies, these jobs may ultimately leave the U.S. to relocate in other countries, where environments are friendlier.
To be sure, there is no easy fix — a wide variety of policies has contributed to where we are today, and a wide variety of reforms will be required to ensure the American biopharmaceutical industry’s continued preeminence. Policies include tax regulations, intellectual property rights, economic and trade policies, patent laws and data exclusivity, importation laws, and education programs, to name a few.
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Health Care Reform for Workers and Working Families
(Introduction by Chairman, Michael J. Sullivan General President SMWIA & Vice Chairman, Richard H. Bagger Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc.)
Each day, hundreds of thousands of workers in the United States start their day researching, developing and manufacturing biopharmaceutical products, and building the facilities where those medicines are discovered or produced. The resulting health care innovations are vital to the American people and the nation.The global leader in scientific research, innovation and manufacturing, the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry provides hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, and contributes more than $200 billion to the gross domestic product.
The unions and companies of the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association recognize that a strong domestic biopharmaceutical industry that provides innovative medicines is vital to the American people and to the nation as a whole. At the same time, the association recognizes the need to address issues of mutual interest and concern to the industry, its workers and all Americans, including: accessibility and affordability of health care; funding of innovative research and future cures; and, maintaining a strong biopharmaceutical industry in the United States. As an association of labor and industry, we recognize fully that not only do our employees research, discover and produce the medicines that enhance and sustain lives, they are also patients.
To that end, the trustees of PILMA tasked a working group to study and discuss thoroughly the issues surrounding health care reform so that they could answer this question: How can we, as a nation, make health care reform work for workers and their families?
What follows is a consensus-driven document that embraces our founding principles. We believe by working together, industry and labor can forge common-sense approaches and provide solutions to some of the biggest problems facing workers who are dealing with their health care and that of their loved ones.
As an organization deeply involved in health care, we wanted to do more than just state the problems — we wanted to come together and suggest solutions. We recognize that, despite achieving our goal of reaching consensus among ourselves, not everyone else will agree with our suggestions. And while we know that our solutions don’t address all of the challenges facing the American health care system, this document represents our best efforts to address key reform issues and join a dialogue about solutions.
With an economy facing challenges of historic proportions, we understand we must work even harder to find real solutions. We believe fully that significant reform of the health care system today is a requirement of economic recovery, not something we can afford to put off until another day. Today’s economic crisis compels us to come together now and help forge health care solutions that expand coverage, improve quality and provide value. By acting now, we can make meaningful change that will benefit America’s workers and their families at the time when they need help most.
We welcome the opportunity to participate in this important dialogue.
Chairman, Michael J. Sullivan
General President Sheet Metal Workers' International Association
Vice Chairman, Richard H. Bagger
Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc.
PRESENTATIONS TO THE 2010 PILMA WINTER MEETING
Attendees at the 2010 PILMA Winter meeting in November came away with richer appreciation of trends in health care and biopharmaceuticals.
Lilly CEO Dr. John C. Lechleiter painted a compelling picture describing how medical innovation has improved life quality, extended life spans and improved the nation’s economic health.
Donna Boswell, of the law firm of Hogan Lovells, offered an insightful and detailed presentation on the benefits of Health Care Reform for employers and consumers.
Another perspective on the role of life sciences, competitiveness and job creation was offered by Dr. Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; and author Pat Choate presented concepts on job creation based on the work of the Manufacturing Policy Project that he heads.
The program included a free-wheeling discussion and analysis of the 2010 mid-term election led by Steve McMahon of Purple Strategies, LLC.
PILMA Partner Organizations
We Work for Health
Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Council for American Medical Innovation