Battelle: Genetic Testing Sector is Medical/Economic Game Changer

Jan 23, 2012, 07:00 ET from American Clinical Laboratory Association

US is Global Leader in Creating Jobs, Income, Says Report

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new Battelle report shows genetic and genomic testing is having a major impact on the economy -- creating 116,000 jobs and $16.5 billion in annual economic output -- and that sustained US leadership in this sector could provide "significant future economic and societal benefits."

"Job creation is critical to improving the state of the union—and this industry is doing just that," said Alan Mertz, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) that sponsored the Battelle report. "Genetic and genomic testing, like the Internet in the early days, also offers vast opportunity for the future."

Genetic and genomic testing generates $6 billion in personal income annually for US workers. It also generated $657 million in estimated state and local tax revenue and nearly $1.2 billion in federal taxes in 2009. 

"This industry is one of America's true economic success stories," said Mertz. "It is not only helping us beat cancer and other diseases, it is also building strong economic growth in a field of innovation where the US is -- and always has been -- the leader."

Innovative genetic tests are transforming medical care, the study says. They do so by identifying the genetic nature of a disease, thus enabling physicians to better target treatment to the exact cause. This ensures that they get the right treatment early, saving lives and saving money.

Significant improvements are being seen in such conditions as childhood leukemia, HIV, heart disease, cervical cancer, blood clotting, melanoma, and colorectal cancer.

"In the 1960s, the cure rate for childhood leukemia was only 4%," said Mertz. "Today, that exceeds 80%."

Sustaining US leadership as this sector continues to prosper carries the promise of "significant future economic and societal benefits," notes the report.

For economic opportunities to be captured in the US, however, the sector needs to be able to operate in a supportive business environment.

"Legislation that provides a pathway for continued innovation in this sector is essential to maintaining America's competitive edge globally," said Mertz.

Read the Battelle report at: or


SOURCE American Clinical Laboratory Association