The Illinois Pharmaceutical Industry: Survey of Economic Impact and Importance
Feb 01, 2004

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest, longest standing and most knowledge-intensive sectors in the U.S. economy. It directly and indirectly supports millions of jobs and pays above average-level wages to pharmaceutical industry workers. Its economic and scientific contributions propel many key states and regions. Yet, for many, what comes to mind when the pharmaceutical industry is mentioned is the growing cost of prescription drugs.

The pharmaceutical industry is a major component of the Illinois economy. In addition to providing more than 22,6001 direct jobs to Illinois in 2002 (and this estimate appears to be conservative based upon industry sources), the industry is an important contributor to the fiscal position of the state and its local governments, including the corporate taxes it generates, the personal income taxes that its knowledge workers contribute, the sales taxes generated by purchases of its products and the taxes collected by the industry's ripple effects on employment and income in other sectors.

Pharmaceuticals and related activities are among the most research-intensive sectors in the economy, seeding its future discoveries by investing over $27.4 billion in research and development in the United States. The pharmaceutical industry accounted for almost 8 percent of total industrial research and development investment in the United States in 1999 and that probably approached 10 percent in 2003. The end result of consuming its products - better health - has an immeasurable value for the national economy and the citizens of Illinois.

This paper documents many of the major economic impacts of the pharmaceutical industry on the state of Illinois.