Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Immigrants Make Up to One-Third of Pharma’s R&D Workforce But It Kept Mum About Trump’s Travel BAN

Immigrants Make Up to One-Third of Pharma’s R&D Workforce But It Kept Mum About Trump’s Travel BAN | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

As leaders from across the business world chimed in to speak against the temporary travel ban President Donald Trump implemented last week on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries and refugees, one industry that relies on immigrant labor stayed under the radar: big pharma (read “The Silence of the #Pharma Lambs on Trump's Immigration Policy”; http://sco.lt/8rSYwD).

 

According to a 2014 study by researchers at George Mason University, immigrants made up 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2011, but made up 17 percent of the pharmaceutical industry labor force. That reliance has only increased according to Justin Lowry, a postdoctoral researcher at George Mason’s Institute for Immigration Research: An estimate using 2015 data shows that immigrants made up 23 percent of the pharma workforce. Lowry said the industry is “very heavily reliant” on foreign-born workers.

 

And among those who work in research and development — the engine of discovery and innovation for the industry — immigrants made up one-third of the labor force, according to the 2014 report. Foreign-born scientists made up 43 percent of medical and life scientists, the study found.

 

“In general, intellectual endeavors in the U.S. — education, research — they rely on immigrants,” Lowry said. “It’s important to have innovation, and innovation comes from diversity. A difference in perspective allows for a difference in approach.”

 

Yet in the run-up to a big meeting Tuesday morning with Trump, the pharmaceutical industry was muted compared with other big businesses responding to the ban.

 

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group that represents the industry and usually speaks on its behalf, said it didn’t have a comment about the ban. Neither did Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. And those that did have a response to the ban often struck a neutral tone and focused on its employees.

 

“We are working to fully understand the implications of the Executive Order on our business and our employees,” Astra Zeneca said in a statement.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Further Reading: “Pharma's Top Execs React to Trump Immigration Ban With Near Universal Silence”; http://sco.lt/8fzALh

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Pharma's Top Execs React to Trump Immigration Ban With Near Universal Silence

Pharma's Top Execs React to Trump Immigration Ban With Near Universal Silence | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

From Endpoints: A large majority of the biotech industry has vehemently rejected Donald Trump’s travel ban in no uncertain terms.

 

We decided to take the temperature of the industry in a snap poll emailed to industry subscribers Sunday afternoon. In just two hours, 600 of our nearly 13,000 subscribers weighed in — the vast majority dead set against the ban, many angrily citing the immediate impact the executive order will have on the biopharma industry.

 

At 5:30am Eastern on Monday, votes still pouring in, we registered more than a thousand responses, with 903 opposed (87%) to the ban and only 130 in favor of it. Three out of four felt that the ban is certain to have a real impact on the industry, threatening diversified staffs, attendance at US conferences, and throttling back key recruiting efforts. But in many cases, it was clear that quite a few execs in the industry were simply outraged by a move that they felt would tarnish the country’s reputation for years to come.

 

“Any ban on any race or religion has an impact on our industry because our industry is one of science and reason. Many of us are immigrants, sons and daughters of immigrants or married to immigrants ( I am gay and married to my immigrant husband from Vietnam who came here in 1980) . This ban has an impact on every decent human in the world…a negative impact. Plain and simple, this is NOT who we are as an industry or as a people, period.” Proudly signed, — Paul James Hastings, Chair and CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

Pharma Guy's insight:

Meanwhile: Silicon Valley tech titans, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were quick to criticize President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, but their executive peers in the biotech and pharma industry remained almost universally silent.

 

As of Sunday evening, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders was the only executive of a large drug company to speak out. Saunders tweeted Sunday morning that Allergan "is strong & bold because of diversity. Oppose any policy that puts limitations on our ability to attract the best & diverse talent."

 

Saunders stood virtually alone.

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The Silence of the #Pharma Lambs on Trump's Immigration Policy

The Silence of the #Pharma Lambs on Trump's Immigration Policy | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Titans of the automotive, banking, and technology industries have spoken out in recent days against President Donald Trump’s move to block arrivals from seven Muslim-majority nations.

But the pharmaceutical sector, which relies disproportionately on immigrant labor, has been almost universally silent — perhaps in a bid to avoid rousing Trump’s ire before a crucial meeting Tuesday morning at the White House.

STAT reached out to the 15 biggest drug companies about the immigration ban; only Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Novartis responded with statements — and they simply expressed support for affected employees, without taking a stance on Trump’s action.

The industry’s biggest lobbying group, PhRMA, has also remained mum. Trump is scheduled to meet with PhRMA executives on Tuesday morning.

“My guess is pharma is waiting to see how it plays out and which side the public opinion goes,” said Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School. “I think that’s prudent — but another word for prudent, of course, is ‘cowardly.’”

Pharma Guy's insight:

Further Reading: “Pharma's Top Execs React to Trump Immigration Ban With Near Universal Silence”; http://sco.lt/8fzALh

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