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BioCrossroads: Life sciences a $50B industry in Indiana

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The life sciences industry in Indiana employs 55,500 workers paying average wages of more than $88,500 per year, according to new figures released Tuesday by Indianapolis-based life sciences development group BioCrossroads.

The figures were produced by the Indiana Business Research Center, an arm of Indiana University, which calculated the total economic impact of the life sciences industry in Indiana at $50 billion a year.

“These data elevate Indiana to the same company as America’s other world-renowned centers of health care innovation: Massachusetts, California, North Carolina and New Jersey,” said David Johnson, BioCrossroads’ CEO, in a prepared statement.

Indiana’s life sciences industry includes the corporate headquarters of such giants as drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co., health insurer WellPoint Inc., surgical implant maker Cook Medical Inc., orthopedic implant makers Biomet Inc., DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and Zimmer Holdings Inc., and agro-tech company Dow AgroSciences LLC.

It also includes numerous small life sciences companies, including many trying to commercialize research breakthroughs made at Indiana’s research universities—IU, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.

The report used 2011 and 2012 data, compared with a 2011 report that relied on 2009 and 2010 data. That earlier report totaled the economic impact of Indiana’s life sciences industry at $44 billion per year.

One difference between the two reports is that the most recent one includes “biologistics” companies, whereas the original economic impact report did not. On its own, biologistics has an impact of $2.5 billion annually, a BioCrossroads spokeswoman said. That means the economic impact of the rest of Indiana's life sciences businesses has expanded by $3.5 billion per year since BioCrossroads' 2011 report.

BioCrossroads and other life sciences industry groups have been trying to emphasize—especially to state legislators—the high wages and large economic impact made by the life sciences industry, even though it employs relatively few workers compared with Indiana’s other staple industries, such as manufacturing or construction.

Those two industries, even after heavy losses in the recession, still employed 490,000 and 128,000 workers, respectively, at the end of 2012.

The $88,500 in average wages paid in life sciences industries far exceeds the state’s average wage of about $40,000.

In all, there are more than 1,600 life sciences companies in Indiana, up from the earlier report's count of 854 companies.

Collectively, they pay about $5 billion in annual wages in Indiana. They also account for $9.3 billion in annual exports, ranking Indiana third in the nation in that category, behind California and Texas.

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  1. $800M is a lot. There's over 800,000 people in the county/city though. I'm betting the cost of services(police, fire, roads, economic incentives to bring in new business, etc.) in Hamilton County is much more than $1000 per person. In 2012, the city of Carmel's audit report shows receipts of $268,742,988 (about 1/3 of Indianapolis's receipts) for a population of 83,573 (almost 1/10 the size of Indianapolis)...hmm, I wonder why Carmel is such a safer place to live...

  2. Would you let a mechanic diagnose your car over the internet without seeing it or taking it for a test drive? The patient needs face to face interaction with a physician to be properly diagnosed. It would seem to me that the internet diagnosis is about as silly as going to ones mirror and saying, "I wonder what I have"? And then you diagnose yourself. That's free and probably wrong too.

  3. Maybe if we treated the parents of juvie offenders who have 5 babies from 4 different daddies like stray cats and dogs who go around creating a bigger animal control problem, we wouldn't have so much of a "parenting" problem flooding both the social services and (later) correctional systems. The breakdown of morals and parental responsibilities from horndogs who can't keep it in their pants and keep their families together has caused this. If a pit bull attacks someone, it's destroyed. Everyone encourages that pets are spayed and neutered to control the pet population and prevent further issues. Maybe it's time to control the welfare population...

  4. Blocking two blocks of a street along Broadripple Ave. is not going to stop "pedestrians" from walking around. The article stated that seven people were injured as a result of a skirmish between two gun-toting "pedestrians"...not drive-bys. Most of the crimes that are committed in BR area are done by "pedestrians" that are walking in the area...not driving by. This may alleviate traffic going through the area and may steer some folks away from coming to the area because of the extra inconvenience but it will not stop a pedestrian, on foot from toting a gun while walking in that area....period.

  5. Please run for mayor Joe. We need someone to come in and clean house. They past two mayors have run administrations rampant with corruption. We need to clean house before corruption is accepted as normal like Chicago.

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