BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A new report says clinical drug trials and associated pharmaceutical research have become a major part of Alabama's economy, supporting more than 17,000 jobs.
A report issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says more than 3,400 clinical trials of new medicines have been conducted in Alabama since 1999.
Universities, hospitals and research institutions in Birmingham, Muscle Shoals, Huntsville, Mobile and Dothan worked on many of those trials.
Gov. Robert Bentley joined officials of the research organization Wednesday to announce the results in Birmingham. Bentley said biopharmaceutical companies generated $3.2 billion in economic activity in Alabama in 2011, and he's looking for their economic impact to grow.