North Carolina

North Carolina

The We Work For Health NC program launched in early 2009 to demonstrate the economic importance of the life science industry to the state of North Carolina. The life science cluster of North Carolina is identifiable by our unique presence of large and small biotech companies, robust research parks and universities, and a thriving vendor network of manufacturers and suppliers.

The biopharmaceutical sector is the foundation of one of North Carolina’s most dynamic innovation and business ecosystems. Not only does the industry invest heavily in the research and development of new treatments and cures, it also generates high quality jobs, powers economic output and exports for the U.S. economy and sustains a very large-scale supply chain.


Supporting High Quality Jobs in North Carolina

The innovative biopharmaceutical sector directly supported 44,969 jobs in North Carolina in 2017. These jobs are often high-skill, high-wage professions.

The industry also supported another 206,084 jobs indirectly, for a total of about 251,053 jobs across the North Carolina economy. These additional jobs are with vendors and suppliers such as construction companies and I.T. companies, and jobs generated by the sector’s employees such as day care centers and restaurants.

North Carolina workers whose jobs were supported by the biopharmaceutical sector paid a total of $3.6 billion in personal taxes in 2017—$3.1 billion in federal taxes and $458.1 million in state taxes.

North Carolina's Economic Impact

In 2017, the biopharmaceutical sector supported $74.5 billion in economic output for the state of North Carolina—including $39.2 billion generated directly by the sector, and another $35.3 billion through its vendors and suppliers and through the economic activity of its workforce.

Direct Output per Direct Employee in 2017

$39.2 Billion
$35.3 Billion
$74.5 Billion

vendor relationships


vendor spending


Find Your
Elected Officials


Health Industry

Alliance of Disability Advocates

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Massage Therapy Association

Arthritis Foundation of North Carolina

Multiple Sclerosis Society of North Carolina

National Alliance on Mental Illness of North Carolina

National Association of Social Workers of North Carolina

NC State Grange

North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians

North Carolina AIDS Action Network

North Carolina Alliance for Health

North Carolina Area Agencies on Aging

North Carolina Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

North Carolina Association of Community Health Centers

North Carolina Association on Aging

North Carolina Chamber of Commerce

North Carolina Counseling Association

North Carolina Health Care Facility Association

North Carolina Hospital Association

North Carolina Lung Association

North Carolina Medical Society

North Carolina Nurses Association

North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association

North Carolina Pediatric Society

North Carolina Prevention Partners

North Carolina Providers Council

North Carolina Psychiatric Association

North Carolina Psychological Association

North Carolina Radiological Society

North Carolina Stroke Association

Old North State Medical Foundation

Partnership for Drug Free North Carolina

The Arc of North Carolina

The Autism Society of North Carolina

Easterseals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia

United Way of North Carolina

Wellness Education and Community Health Action Network (WECAHN)

Hospital and Medical Schools

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

WakeMed Hospital System

WestCare Health System

UNC School of Medicine

Presbyterian Healthcare System

New Hanover Health Network

Moses Cone Health System

Duke University School of Medicine

ECU Brody School of Medicine

FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Blue Ridge HealthCare System

Cape Fear Valley Health System

Carolinas Healthcare System

Vidant Health

Industry Partners






Celgene Corporation

Eli Lilly

Endo Pharmaceuticals




NC Biotechnology Center

NC Research Campus


Novo Nordisk




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