Monday April 22, 2013 | 06:27 PM
Posted by Chris Hall

Last week I had the chance to participate in a press conference highlighting the importance of clinical drug trials in our region's economy. 

What I learned might surprise you - drug research in Maine supports thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in payroll.  It's a quiet part of our economy that contributes significantly to our hi-tech culture. Not to mention that it saves lives.

Right now there are 28 active clinical drug trials going on in our region, mostly at Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital.  Among the diseases begin researched are cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  Many of the drugs being tested today will contribute to the medical tool kit for years to come.

Beyond the big numbers and the lives saved, clinical research connects directly to small business in our region. 

Look for example at Apothecary by Design in the Bayside neighborhood of Portland.  Started just a few years ago, the company now employs dozens of people on the cutting edge of pharmacy practice.  The drugs they sell today - and tomorrow - come from the research being done right now in clinical trials here and across the country.

The lesson I learned was that biomedical research comes in many shapes and sizes, and clinical durg trials are one of the quiet success stories in our region, and across Maine.


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Chris Hall is the CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber. He’s been working in Chambers of Commerce in Maine for over 20 years, and Notes from the Chamber will bring you his perspective and comment on what’s happening in the Portland region that’s most important to our economy today and tomorrow.

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