Indiana’s No. 6 rank in pharmaceutical jobs could provide boost during recovery

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Indiana ranks sixth in the nation among states for the number of jobs in drugs and pharmaceuticals—a sector known for high pay and economic impact, according to a new national report. And that could be good news as the Hoosier state tries to battle back against the current economic downturn, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hoosier state has 17,093 industry jobs spread out among 69 companies, from Indianapolis-based drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. to startups scattered around the state, but mostly in clusters near research universities.

The topic is timely because the COVID-19 pandemic nearly paralyzed the nation for months, causing a nearly complete shutdown of many cities. Yet, the biosciences industry is known for its near-continuous long-term growth and resiliency during the last two recessions—features that could aid Indiana in the current economic downturn.

During the recession that lasted roughly from 2008 to 2010, U.S. private sector employment fell by 6.9% compared with a decline of just 1.4% for biosciences.

In the previous recession of 2001, all industry employment fell by 2%, while the biosciences industry actually rose by 2%, the report said.

“The biosciences have provided a much-needed buffer during economic downturns,” the report said.

The report was issued earlier this month by Biotechnology Innovation Organization (better known as BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related organizations; and TEConomy Partners LLC (short for Tomorrow’s Economic Landscape, a research and strategy organization.

Indiana’s pharmaceutical sector ranks the state in the top tier nationally, behind only five other states, all substantially larger in population. California has the highest number of industry jobs, at 46,694, followed by New Jersey (21,950), North Carolina (21,705), Illinois (20,297) and Pennsylvania (17,093).

Drugs and pharmaceuticals is a wide category that includes biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, diagnostic substances, targeted disease therapeutics and more.

Indiana also is one of only nine states with employment specializations in three of the five biosciences sectors.

The report measures growth in the bioscience sector, which includes five areas: drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and research, testing and medical laboratories, agricultural feedstock and chemicals, and bioscience-related distribution.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Indiana ranked seventh in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding growth, with an increase of 44% between 2016 and 2019.
  • The Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area ranks sixth nationally for drugs and pharmaceutical jobs and eighth for agricultural feedstock and chemicals jobs.
  • Bloomington, home of Cook Medical, ranks No. 1 among small metropolitan areas in the medical devices and equipment category for specialized employment concentration for the last six years.
  • Evansville ranks 12th among medium metropolitan areas for agricultural feedstock and chemicals.
  • South Bend-Mishawaka ranks 14th among medium metropolitan areas for research, testing and medical laboratories.
  • Terre Haute ranks 14th among small metropolitan areas in both the drugs and pharmaceuticals category and the research, testing and medical labs category.

Indiana is home to the global headquarters of Lilly, Anthem Inc., Cook Medical and Zimmer Biomet. It is the North American headquarters of Roche Diagnostics. Other biosciences companies with large operations in the state include, Beckman Coulter, Boston Scientific, Catalent Biologics, Corteva Agriscience, Covance, DuPuy Orthopaedics, Express Scripts, Medtronics, and Reckitt Benckiser.

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2 thoughts on “Indiana’s No. 6 rank in pharmaceutical jobs could provide boost during recovery

  1. It is true that the report brings out some positive information. However, there remains a significant Achilles heel that our State seems to not want to acknowledge. That is, our State has ONLY one research medical school. When you couple that with a very poor public health record for our State, you have the makings for long term disaster. This has been made worse by recent governmental administrations which have not made public health a priority issue to address. The obvious solution would be for Purdue and Notre Dame to have their own research medical schools. Our State would then have the potential to really excel in the life science arena with more medically trained scientists, more practicing physicians, and a broader perspective on delivering quality healthcare on a more comprehensive basis for our State. However, there is not the political will to get this accomplished.

  2. Disagree. Our next door neighbor to the east disproves your theory. Ohio has at least 4 or 5 medical research universities yet IN is ahead of them.