Developing Cures and Creating Jobs in the Hudson Valley

The Westchester-Hudson Valley Region is a leader in the state’s economic recovery via its thriving biopharmaceutical sector and clinical trials that help bring life-saving drugs to people all over the world.  Locally, the industry is responsible for 10,000 well-paying jobs.  And Westchester is not an anomaly – this sector is growing in other areas of the state, including Buffalo, Syracuse, the Capital District, Long Island and New York City.

Yesterday, physicians, researchers, as well as national, state and local elected officials gathered to highlight the abundance of drug clinical trials in the Hudson Valley region.  In addition to jobs at the area’s two pharmaceutical companies – Acorda Therapeutics in Ardsley and Regeneron in Tarrytown, clinical trials create a web of additional employment through medical schools, research institutions, hospitals and patient-care clinics.  More than half of the 56 clinical trials currently occurring in this region are devoted to cancer.

Patients are the real beneficiaries of the state’s biopharmaceutical activity.  Cancer clinical trials far outpace those for other chronic diseases in New York, but there are plenty of trials happening around asthma, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and stroke treatment across the state.  There are over 700 New York clinical trials currently recruiting participants.

Public and private support of the biopharmaceutical industry and clinical trials is something that policy makers, patients and advocates should rally around.  It is perhaps the purest example of industry investment for the public good.  And not just dollars, but also the creation of an environment in which patients, the state’s economy and the industry can thrive.

As Marissa Brett stated at yesterday’s event, “The Westchester County Association has always been a strong partner, advocate and friend of the life science sector.  Together, we will champion important incentives from our state and local governments, ensuring a vibrant environment for economic development in our region.”  Well said and we could use more friends like these.

-Jaime Venditti, 10/2/12