Innovator Jobs Add Weight to Debate

When it comes to jobs announcements, a press release announcing 40 new positions is nice -- but hardly earth-shattering news.

Until you learn more about the 40. And then....wow.

Earlier this week, one of Lilly's partners, Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI) announced plans to hire 40 synthetic chemists by the end of the third quarter next year. All 40 will work at Lilly's headquarters in Indianapolis, supporting our medicinal chemistry department.

So, while 40 new chemists alone won't shake the economic foundation of Central Indiana, the announcement captures the essence of our message about the need for public policies that protect an environment ripe for innovation. Lilly spends more than $1 billion on vendors and business partners in the state of Indiana, and a few billion more across the U.S. If public policies -- such as the current debate around using Medicare Part D price controls to narrow the federal deficit -- don't provide an environment for doing business, these 40 chemists don't come to Indianapolis. Instead, Lilly cuts back on research and development, and AMRI has less work coming from the industry.

Lilly is working to transform the way it researches and develops potential new treatments. The business model is a good one, but only if public policies allow it.