Jean-Blaise Defago joins MSD Switzerland as Director Policy & Communications

Lucerne, September 1, 2018. As of September 1, Jean-Blaise Defago has joined the Swiss subsidiary of MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) as Director Policy & Communications. In this position, Defago will develop and promote external collaboration with political stakeholders and industry representatives. As head of the Policy & Communications team, he is also responsible for strengthening MSD’s internal and external communication in Switzerland. This will make it possible for the biopharmaceutical research company to play a more active role in the healthcare system as an important player and to exploit its strong position in both the Swiss pharmaceutical market and the canton of Lucerne, where the company maintains four sites with 700 employees, from which it serves Switzerland and operates in numerous markets around the world.

Defago comes to MSD Switzerland from Abbvie Switzerland, where he worked as Government Affairs Manager. Before that, Defago had an extensive career, with more than 20 years of professional experience in government and health insurance, focusing on public affairs and communications. Among other positions, he was Head of Corporate Communication for the assurance company Visana and was also employed at the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport, first as Head of Corporate Communications and then later as a consultant and Chief of Staff.

About MSD

MSD is a leading global biopharmaceutical company which has been engaged in life science research for more than a century, developing drugs and vaccines for the most challenging diseases worldwide. MSD is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. With our prescription drugs, vaccines, biological therapies, and veterinary products, we offer innovative health solutions in over 140 countries. With wide-ranging programs and partnerships, we are also committed to achieving improved access to healthcare. Today MSD is still at the forefront of research for the prevention and treatment of diseases which threaten people and society around the world, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, new animal diseases, Alzheimer’s, and infectious diseases, including HIV and Ebola. For more information visit and follow us on Twitter.

MSD Human Medicine Switzerland

Switzerland is a key location for the company, which has 700 employees working there in national and international functions. The Human Medicine division in Switzerland is responsible for the distribution of prescription drugs and biopharmaceuticals in the areas of oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases (including fungal infections, antibiotic resistance, HIV/Aids, and hepatitis C), immunology, women’s health as well as vaccines for children, young people, and adults.

MSD is active in clinical research in Switzerland, where the company provides medicines for clinical trials worldwide. Additionally, MSD is committed to raising health literacy and promoting the healthcare economy on a local level. The company is also active in Lucerne, where the MSD headquarters are located. In 2018 the company received certification as a “Top Employer” in Switzerland for the sixth year in succession, as well as the “Top Employer Europe” award for the third time.

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Press contact:
Liliane Elspass, Assoc. Director Policy & Communications
MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme AG
Tel. +41 58 618 34 24 / Mobile 079 235 58 90

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CORP-1276007-0000, 11/2018