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The Value of U.S. Life Sciences:
A White Paper Exploring Competitiveness, Delivery and Challenges
Apr 01, 2009
Kevin Klowden and Benjamin Yeo with Ross DeVol

The life sciences industry is one of the most significant value-added sectors of the knowledge-based economy within the United States. In an era when global competition has driven jobs overseas, this industry has consistently generated employment growth - and most important of all, growth in prestigious, high-wage, high-quality jobs.

The United States is a global leader in life sciences - not only in terms of manufacturing but especially in research and development. Backed by world-class university research programs and a thriving venture capital community, the industry produces a steady stream of innovative pharmaceuticals, medical devices and new treatments.

As this Milken Institue white paper argues, this tremendous R&D capacity should be recognized as one of the nation's most prized knowledge assets. The U.S. model in life sciences research is based on a synergy of government funding, research institutions and private-sector investment and development.

If the business community were to partner aggressively with the life sciences industry to focus squarely on an ambitious goal of reducing the most common chronic diseases, the results could include significant cost savings, higher productivity and reduced human suffering. By establishing creative partnerships with the life sciences industry to focus on improved service delivery and targeted preventive care, we can improve the health of Americans and reduce the economic burden of chronic diseases.

Harnessing the nation's strong R&D assets and the impressive ingenuity and intellectual capital of the life sciences industry will be the key to setting that process in motion. Businesses in other key sectors of the American economy have a tremendous amount to gain by learning from and collaborating with partners in the life sciences.