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Drug companies call New Jersey home


Pharmaceutical Representative

A look at pharmaceutical companies in the Garden State.

When New Jersey residents acknowledge that they are from New Jersey, they sometimes hear the barbed question, "Oh yeah? Which exit?" - a reference to the garden state's meandering Interstate system. But, according to a recent report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the better question might be: "Oh yeah? Which pharmaceutical company do you work for?"

Commissioned by the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey to study the success of its local member companies, the study found that New Jersey-based companies are significant contributors not only to the state's economy, but to the economies of the nation and the world.

The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey counts some of the pharmaceutical industry's largest and most influential companies as members - including American Home Products, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Hoffman-LaRoche, Johnson & Johnson, Knoll, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Roberts, Schering-Plough and Warner-Lambert - as well as several medical technology companies.

Those member companies help New Jersey defend its self-imposed label as "the medicine chest of the world," said William H. Tremayne, the institute's president. A treasure chest could be equally descriptive, based on PricewaterhouseCoopers' findings. Consider some of the report's highlights:

•Â New Jersey-based companies were credited with submitting more than one-third – 14 out of 38 – of the drugs approved by the FDA in 1998.

•Â In 1996, New Jersey-based companies produced roughly 43% of all ethical pharmaceuticals sold in the United States, totaling more than $34 billion.

•Â Nearly 35% of all patents issued to New Jersey recipients in 1996 were awarded to institute member companies.

•Â Member companies made more than $40 million in contributions to nonprofit organizations and charities in New Jersey in 1996.

•Â The Institute's member companies employ 60,000 people throughout the state, more than half of whom are women and more than a fifth of whom are minorities.

•Â Member companies occupy more than 84,000 acres of land in New Jersey.

•Â The average base salary for employees of Institute member companies was $61,400 in 1997, while the state's average base salary is $41,000.

•Â Global sales for the companies were roughly $119 billion in 1997, or approximately 40% of the worldwide health care products market of $296 billion.

•Â Institute members contributed more than $8.5 billion to the New Jersey economy in 1997 - almost half of the state's 1999 budget.

Joseph Palo, the Pricewaterhouse-Coopers partner who oversaw the research, commented: "The impact of this industry on the state's economy remains consistently strong. This comprehensive review demonstrates the broad impact one industry can have on the state." PR

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