Manifest Boston Stories

Innovation: It’s No Accident

As one of the world’s top research hubs driving today’s new era of medicine, Boston is known globally as an example of an ecosystem built for innovation. Blending premiere research institutions, accessible venture capital and talent, supportive public policies and the biopharmaceutical industry in one location, the city has few peers capable of producing such outstanding progress toward combatting disease and improving human health.

This network did not appear by accident, nor will it remain by accident. It is the intentional creation of various stakeholders who work together to construct an environment that encourages and rewards impactful research and development. The result is an innovation-driven economy with the potential to sustain itself for decades.

For these reasons, America’s biopharmaceutical companies have chosen to invest heavily in Massachusetts, and as a result have become a powerhouse of economic benefit to the state. The biopharmaceutical industry directly employs people in a broad range of fields — from the life sciences, architecture, and computational research to production, logistics, and transportation — and supports more than 300,000 jobs and more than $79 billion in economic output across the state’s economy.

These numbers illustrate not only the quantity of investment, but also the quality. Workers in the biopharmaceutical sector receive an average compensation of $156,027 — more than double the state-wide average of $71,883. Employee productivity stands out as well: Direct jobs within the industry result in an average impact of $567,003 — more than triple the Massachusetts average.

This impact also extends beyond the private sector and into the public sphere. The biopharmaceutical industry is responsible for $6.2 billion in state and federal taxes that result from activity within Massachusetts. To learn more about the biopharmaceutical industry’s contributions to Massachusetts, check out this infographic.

Later this week, influential representatives from throughout the healthcare system will take the stage at HUBweek to talk through specific recommendations that can achieve the above-stated goals. Panelists include Bill Sibold, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Genzyme; Jody Rose, president of The New England Venture Capital Association; and John Barros, the City of Boston’s Chief of Economic Development.

Convenings like HUBweek that bring together diverse stakeholders help to ensure that the benefits of innovation in the state not only thrive, but continue to grow in size and scope, positively impacting all corners of our community. Doing so will require intentional and widespread collaboration among all stakeholders, including government, private industry, and research institutions. We’re thrilled to be taking part in the HUBweek conversation because we know these discussions are a crucial step to a future that goes beyond economic impact to ultimately improving patient lives. 


Anne McDonald Pritchett, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President, Policy and Research, at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America (PhRMA). Her primary focus is overseeing the development of legislative and policy analysis and research studies on a range of issues impacting innovative biopharmaceutical companies, including intellectual property issues, FDA policy issues, and other issue areas impacting the environment for innovation. She has 20 years’ experience in strategy, policy analysis, program development, and research. Prior to joining PhRMA, she served in the White House Drug Policy Office for almost eight years, focusing on policy development and analysis.