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altHealth care and the economy rank among today's most dynamic and important conversations taking place in Iowa and across the nation. While viewpoints vary, in each case Americans are eager for solutions that improve the lives of their families and strengthen their communities. Looking to the future, we all can rally behind a common link that supports recovery from both a wellness and fiscal standpoint: medical innovation.

Basic numbers say a lot. Health care represents 17 percent of our nation's gross domestic product and is an industry expected to generate 3 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016. In Iowa, biopharmaceutical companies had a total economic output of $4.6 billion in 2006 and supported a total of 24,687 jobs the same year.

Iowa has identified bioscience as one of three sectors where the state will focus new development efforts, and for good reason. Effective medical innovation can have a powerful ripple effect. A healthier society translates to a more productive work force, and this combination results in a more thriving economy.

To read the full, original article click on this link: Guest column: Innovation is key to economic recovery | | The Des Moines Register

Author: DAVID NORTON is chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals group. DOUG REICHARDT is chair of Innovate Iowa. Contact: