By 2025, PhRMA reports US Pharmaceutical jobs could be 60% vacant from a lack of effective education policies coupled with growing competition from other countries. A robust STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce is absolutely crucial to the future of the biopharmaceutical sector.
How has the US reached this point?
The Pharmaceutical industry is research intensive, and all aspects from R&D to manufacturing require highly-skilled workers. This shortage of skills will get worse as drug development gets more complicated. US Government shoulders some blame by neglecting education in these areas, just as competitors including Australia and China have been ramping up their efforts. In 2016, China had 4.7 million recent STEM graduates, compared to just 568,000 in the US.
According to vice president of policy and research at PhRMA Anne Pritchett, there is a real danger the country’s pharmaceutical industry could fall behind its competitors if nothing changes: “Research and Development (R&D) intensive industries like ours could be located in any country. If we get to a point where the policies and the STEM workforce in another country outweigh what we have in the US, there’s a real fear that we will lose our competitive edge.”
Pritchett points to a few keys areas where US needs to be able to analyse the increasing amount of ‘Big Data’ in order to assess efficacy, safety, as well as, real world evidence in developing new medicines.
To access the full report and to learn about STEM education policies in the US, please follow link below:
James F. Lynch PhD, MBA – Regional Personnel Services ©2017