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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. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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