Minnesota “has raised its game” in pharma manufacturing

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Compound annual growth rate

Minnesota “has raised its game” in pharma manufacturing and this revival, coupled to drug-device convergence, may justify continuing investment.

Pharma manufacturing in Minnesota, US is, compared to other states, a small industry. However, despite the competiveness of the sector, growth in Minnesota outstripped rival states from 2002 to 2007 and this has prompted an evaluation of the role of manufacturing in its bio-industry.

Minnesota’s pharmaceuticals industry is playing a significant, and apparently increasingly important, role in the state’s biobusiness technology sector​”, said Kelvin Willoughby, president of Willoughby International and author of a report into bio-related industries in Minnesota.

Belief in the strength of the sector is based, in part, on an assessment of job growth from 2002 to 2007. Over this period pharmaceutical manufacturing employment in Minnesota grew 76 per cent. This led to Minnesota increasing its share of total US pharmaceutical manufacturing employment.

Drug-device convergence

To explain the upturn Willoughby cites his 2006 report, in which he noted “convergence of pharmaceuticals with medical device capabilities and advanced materials to produce advanced combination devices​”.

Medical devices are a major business in Minnesota and Willoughby believes this convergence with a bigger industry “may partly explain​” the upturn in the pharmaceutical sector. Furthermore, it may “provide a persuasive justification for Minnesota continuing to invest in this area​”.

Drug-device combination is expected to achieve a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2009 to 2014, culminating in the market being worth $18.5bn (€13.2bn), according to a report​. This growth presents an opportunity for Minnesota-based pharmaceutical firms.

Post-2007 data

Willoughby based his assessment on 2002 to 2007 data collected by the US Economic Census. This data was published in 2010 and is the most recent US Economic Census information available.

Since 2007 the US pharmaceutical industry has changed significantly and manufacturing jobs have been under threat. However, data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Minnesota added pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs in 2008 before a small dip occurred the following year.

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