Pharmaceutical Firms Spend $1.1B with Michigan’s Vendors, Suppliers

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The country’s leading pharmaceutical companies spend about $1.1 billion annually with biomedical vendors and suppliers throughout Michigan, according to a report by Battelle, a global research and development firm. The information was released at the state Capitol Tuesday in effort to show legislators the impact the industry has on Michigan.

“The bio industry in our state is quite large,” says Stephen Rapundalo, president and CEO of MichBio, a nonprofit association in Ann Arbor that represents more than 600 bioscience companies, universities, and academic institutions.“We need to provide (the industry) with more support so that it can help Michigan’s economic diversification. This was an opportunity to show legislators what the industry’s impact is in both their immediate local districts and also collectively.”

A report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says employees working directly in Michigan’s growing bioscience industry are paid $1.6 billion annually and generate $57 million in state taxes and more than $388 million in federal taxes.

“These are extremely high-paying jobs,” Rapundalo says. “The average (salary) of all of the different sectors within this industry is around $76,000. These are the types of jobs we absolutely want and need in this state.”

Rapundalo says that the industry supports roughly 120,000 jobs in the state. “This includes the folks who take care of bio-hazardous materials and dispose of them, lawyers, even the health systems that run the sponsored clinical trials for the big companies. And while the bulk of it is in the lower half of the Lower Peninsula, there are companies in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, so it’s all over the state.”

The Battelle report was based on data from 17 biopharmaceutical companies and tallies nearly 5,000 vendor relationships in the state. Because not all companies volunteered data, the full economic impact of the vendor industry is likely greater than the numbers suggest, researchers said.

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