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MSD Switzerland recognized as a Top Employer for the 12th consecutive year

Lucerne, February 19, 2024. MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme is proud to announce its official certification as a Top Employer for the 12th consecutive year. Following an extensive review process conducted by the independent Top Employers Institute, the company scored highly in all 6 survey categories, with top scores in two crucial categories: Develop and Unite.

MSD, one of the leading global biopharmaceutical companies, was once again awarded the exclusive “Top Employer Switzerland” and “Top Employer Europe” Certification by the independent Top Employers Institute. The award certifies that MSD offers excellent employee conditions and provides the very best working environment for its employees through adapting progressive ‘people first’ practices. It is based on an assessment including over 100 questions which cover 600 ‘people development’ practices across 10 topics including: human resources management, compensation and social security, career opportunities, working conditions, training and continuous education and corporate culture.

Decisive subject areas for election as Top Employer 2024

MSD Switzerland earned the Top Employer 2024 certification because its employee offerings exceeded the required thresholds in all evaluated criteria with top scores in two crucial categories: Develop and Unite. These categories recognize the company’s efforts in driving performance, career growth and learning opportunities, as well as promoting values, ethics & integrity, sustainability, and diversity & inclusion within the company.

Daria Tyuvina, HR Director at MSD Switzerland

“We are honored to be recognized as a Top Employer in Switzerland once again. The award underlines our ongoing commitment to fostering a happy, healthy, and engaged workforce.”

Daria Tyuvina, HR Director MSD Switzerland

Employee benefits at MSD Switzerland

Since 2020, all new parents receive 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave within the first twelve months of the birth or adoption of a child, regardless of gender. This is one of the most generous and inclusive provisions in all of Switzerland, where only two weeks of parental leave is required by law.

In the same year, MSD introduced a new arrangement that gives employees and managers full flexibility over the amount and frequency of remote work. MSD is also investing heavily in digitalization in the workplace, presenting itself as an even more agile company with a stronger focus on growth, training and development.

Diversity and inclusion at MSD Switzerland

MSD actively promotes diversity and inclusion, for example with various internal networks such as the Womenʼs Network, the Next Generation Network, the Rainbow Alliance (representing our LGBTQ efforts), the CapAbility Network and the Network for Employees of African Origin. Furthermore, MSD intends to initiate additional networks.

The afore mentioned initiatives are important milestones on the way to an ever better offering for all MSD employees in Switzerland. They demonstrate MSD’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and well-being. More importantly, they represent the company’s values and its belief in how to achieve the best balance between private life, family and career.

About Top Employers Institute

Top Employers Institute is the global authority on recognising excellence in People Practices. They help accelerate these practices to enrich the world of work. Through the Top Employers Institute Certification Programme, participating companies can be validated, certified, and recognised as an employer of choice. In 2024, Top Employers Institute has certified more than 2.300 organisations in 121 countries/regions. These certified Top Employers positively impact the lives of over 12 million employees globally. For more information please visit: top-employers.com/en/.

Media contact

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

media.switzerland@merck.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30

About MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme

At MSD, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on X (formerly Twitter)LinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

Copyright © 2024 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02569, 02/2024

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Lucerne, November 7th, 2023 – 50% of all (cancer) diseases caused by infection in developed countries are related to HPV. At the same time, 85–90% of all people become infected with human papilloma viruses (HPV) over the course of their lives (see figure). Most sexually active men and women will become infected at some point in their lives, and some may have repeated infections. That‘s why in November, MSD is launching a new and widespread public education campaign with the motto: “Against HPV. Against cancer. For Life.” in Zurich, Bern and French-speaking Switzerland, which is supported by numerous organizations from the health sector such as HPV Alliance, Schweizer Krebsliga, Santé Sexuelle, Schweizer Aidshilfe, KF Kosumentenforum, Roche Diagnostic, SWICA, SGDV, Medswissnet, SVA and OneDoc. The mission of the campaign is clear: A Switzerland without (cancer) diseases caused by HPV.

As part of the campaign, parents and young people will be informed about comprehensive prevention of HPV-related (cancer) diseases through online articles, social media, digital outdoor advertising as well as various print media. Parents will be reached at the cantonal level using an emotional approach, while young adults will be addressed via attention-grabbing communication. The goal is to make HPV visible to the population because: HPV affects everyone and should therefore not be a taboo topic.

Doctors and medical professionals will also make an important contribution in this respect, as they will be provided with comprehensive information as part of the campaign and can therefore pass on the MSD information documents to their patients, if necessary. In this way, patients are encouraged to find out about HPV prevention early enough or to seek advice directly from their medical practice.

HPV in numbers

  • 85–90% of all people become infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) during their lifetime.
  • Most of the time the viruses disappear on their own. However, some of the HPV types can trigger highly undesirable genital warts, while others can cause cancer in the genital, anal or oral areas.
  • At least 14 of the over 200 HPV types are considered so-called “HPV high-risk types” and are carcinogenic.
  • 50% of all infection-related (cancer) diseases in developed countries are related to HPV.
  • 4.5% of all (cancer) diseases worldwide can be traced back to this kind of HPV infection.
  • In Switzerland, on average, one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer every day, and 80 die from it every year.
  • Cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by a previous, persistent infection with human papillomavirus.
  • Anal cancer, and cancer of the mouth and throat affect both women and men. The development of genital warts is also a typical possible consequence of an HPV infection, and more than 800.000 men and women in Europe are estimated to have them.

Why HPV prevention is so important

Cervical cancer is by far the most common HPV-related (cancer) disease. Almost all cases of cervical cancer can be traced back to an HPV infection. Cervical cancer takes 10 to 30 years to develop in women with normal immune systems. In women with weakened immune systems, for example in the case of an untreated HIV infection, it only takes 5 to 10 years.  Early HPV screening can help to significantly reduce the number of affected people. There is no medication that can cure an HPV infection.

Picture: HPV virus

The consequences of infection with HPV, i.e., genital warts or precancerous lesions, can be prevented primarily by regular screenings, the use of condoms and HPV vaccination. Every year numerous treatments for precancerous lesions as well as new diagnoses of cervical cancer could be avoided. This is one of the key reasons why the HPV awareness campaign is so invaluable. A Switzerland without HPV-related (cancer) diseases is possible, but this will only work through educational measures such as the HPV information campaign “Against HPV. Against cancer. For life.“

The campaign is aimed specifically at young men

The campaign is aimed at parents and young adults. The focus here is on comprehensive information, especially for boys and young men, about the risks of an HPV infection and how to prevent against it. What is particularly striking is that the vaccination rates for boys and young men are still far behind those of girls and young women. However, HPV vaccination is no less important for boys and young men, as they can also become infected with the HP virus and pass it on. Most of the time the viruses disappear on their own.
However, some of the HPV types can trigger highly undesirable genital warts, while others can cause cancer in the genital, anal or oral/throat areas. The Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG) [Federal Office of Public Health] has set the vaccination target rate for men and women at 80%; currently only 49% of men are vaccinated against HPV (last updated: September 2023).

According to the professional journal Swiss Medical Forum, up to 30 percent of HPV-related cancer diagnoses affect men. Men can suffer from HPV-related mouth and throat cancer, penile cancer or genital warts, among other things. In Europe, 2.400 men are diagnosed with HPV-related anal cancer, 5.000 with oropharyngeal cancer and 1.000 with penile cancer every year. According to the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG), over 80% of anal cancer cases can be traced back to HP viruses.

How to prevent HPV

Most people become infected with HPV for the first time after becoming sexually active. In addition to recurring preventive examinations for HPV-related (cancer) diseases (such as cervical smears, “pap tests”), condoms or female condoms offer a certain, but not completely reliable, protection against the transmission of HPV. HPV can also be transmitted through the skin or mucous membranes which are not covered by the condom. HPV vaccination continues to offer additional protection. It can be used to prevent the transmission of certain HP viruses.

The Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) therefore recommends the HPV vaccination to all young people between the ages of 11 and 26. Ideally, this should be administered before the first sexual contact. Nonetheless, vaccination is still worthwhile for people who are already sexually active.

Anyone who has previously been infected with a certain type of HPV virus, can still benefit from the protection of vaccination against other types of viruses. In addition, the vaccination protects against a possible new infection (re-infection) by HP viruses.

A glance into the future

In Sweden, a study showed that women who were vaccinated between the ages of 10 and 30 have a significantly reduced risk of developing cervical cancer. HPV vaccination before the age of 17 reduced the risk of developing cervical cancer by 88%.

Looking at Australia, it is clear that you can also protect others with the help of HPV vaccination, where herd immunity was able to develop after the introduction of the gender-neutral HPV vaccination. This is also possible in Switzerland, but will only work through educational measures, for example the HPV awareness campaign “Against HPV. Against cancer. For life.“ as well as advice from doctors and medical professionals working in Switzerland.

Links for further information

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

MSD Switzerland media contact

Jean-Blaise Defago
Policy & Communications Switzerland

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02383, 10/2023

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As part of the Volunteering Days on September 27th and 28th, employees of the pharmaceutical company MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) freed the cities of Lucerne and Zurich from littering. With the help of the Swiss Competence Center against Littering IGSU, a total of 54 employees collected 68 kg of waste and disposed of it correctly.

An intact environment is essential for human health. The pharmaceutical company MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) knows this too. That is why the company held clean-up days for the second time on September 27th and 28th with IGSU, the Swiss competence center against littering. In Zurich and Lucerne, the employees of MSD were trained by IGSU ambassadors in the areas of environment, recycling, and littering: In the morning, the employees took part in an introductory session and were made aware of the correct handling of waste and recyclables in a presentation. In the afternoon, a total of 84 employees walked through the area surrounding two locations in Zurich and Lucerne, freed them from litter and disposed of the waste correctly.

Visible improvement

MSD employees can devote 40 hours of paid work time to volunteering for charitable projects every year. MSD Switzerland therefore regularly organizes Volunteering Days in which employees from all five locations can take part. Volunteering Days are an opportunity for companies to get involved with their employees for a good cause. “Through our commitment to Switzerland, it is important that we as a company give back to society and the environment,” explains Dimitri Gitas, Managing Director of MSD Switzerland. “During last year’s Clean-Up Days with IGSU were met with great enthusiasm among our workforce, and we decided to partner with IGSU again this year. Our employees appreciate the fact that they themselves can actively contribute to a clean environment and contribute to a visible improvement.” MSD employees in Zurich and Lucerne collected a total of ?? kg of waste.

Widespread interest in proven measure

The IGSU ambassador teams not only hold volunteering days with Swiss companies, but they also travel to over 50 locations throughout Switzerland every summer, where they encourage passers-by to talk about the topics in a friendly and humorous way raising awareness for littering and recycling. There are also assignments on hiking trails and in ski areas in autumn and winter. The IGSU ambassador teams also ensure less littering at events such as street food festivals, city festivals or fairs and sensitize schoolchildren from kindergarten to vocational school to the littering problem with workshops.

Support for cities, communities and schools

The IGSU also supports cities, communities, and schools with many other preventive awareness-raising measures in their commitment against littering. For example, with the national IGSU Clean-Up Day, which is supported by the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, the Swiss Association for Municipal Infrastructure SVKI and the Pusch Foundation. This year, the Switzerland-wide IGSU Clean-Up Day took place on September 15th and 16th. In addition, IGSU, together with Swiss Recycling, offers free teaching materials for teachers on the topics of litter and recycling, awards the no-littering label to cities, communities and schools that are committed to combating litter, and supports institutions in implementing room sponsorship projects.

Do you need a quote for a report on littering or do you have a question on the subject? The IGSU experts are at your disposal.

Media Contact

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

IGSU – Swiss competence center against littering

The IGSU is the Swiss competence center against littering. Since 2007, it has been campaigning nationally for a clean Switzerland with preventive awareness-raising measures. One of the IGSU’s best-known measures is the national Clean-Up Day, which will take place on September 15th and 16th this year. The IGSU is sponsored by the IGORA cooperative for aluminum recycling, PET recycling Switzerland, VetroSwiss, 20 Minuten, Swiss Cigarette, McDonald’s Switzerland, Migros, Coop, Valora, Feldschlösschen and International Chewing Gum Association. They also engage in their own activities to combat littering and, for example, set up additional waste bins, carry out regular clean-up tours around the branches or organize clean-up campaigns with the public.

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02344, 09/2023

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Banner: breast cancer awareness campaign in the Pink Cube 2023

Lucerne, September 14, 2023 – This year’s awareness campaign, “Say No to Breast Cancer, Say Yes to Early Detection” will take place in the Pink Cube from September 29 to October 28. In the “Pink Cube” containers in Liestal, Chur, Baden and Zurich, gynecologists will offer visitors free consultations and breast examinations, and will demonstrate to women how to examine their breasts themselves at home. The awareness campaign is an initiative of MSD and is supported by the patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz and the co-organizers GILEAD and AstraZeneca.

On the occasion of the Breast Cancer month of October, the awareness campaign “Say No to Breast Cancer, Say Yes to Early Detection” will take place for the second time in a row. On two days each, the Pink Cube will be at four sites in German-speaking Switzerland. This year, they will be in Baden and Zurich once again, and in Liestal and Chur for the first time. The awareness campaign is aimed at women and men of all ages and calls on them to take personal responsibility and actively participate in breast cancer prevention. Gynecologists in local practices will offer visitors free consultations and breast examinations and show women how to examine their breasts themselves at home. The awareness campaign is supported on site by women from the breast cancer patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz.

Pink Cube 2022: Baden

Breast cancer awareness campaign in the “Pink Cube” at the Baden site (taken in 2022). Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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Pink Cube 2022: reception

Reception at the “Pink Cube” (taken in 2022). Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Pink Cube 2022: breast examination

Free consultation and breast examination of a visitor to the Pink Cube by a gynecologist (taken in 2022). Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Pink Cube 2022: Zurich-Stadelhofen

Breast cancer awareness campaign in the “Pink Cube” at the Zurich Stadelhofen site (taken in 2022). Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide1

Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide.1 In Switzerland, breast cancer is the second most common cancer with about 6,500 new diagnoses every year in women, and 50 in men.2 The risk of becoming ill with breast cancer increases significantly starting at age 50, but a quarter of those affected are younger than 50 at the time of the diagnosis.1,3
Around 10-15% of women affected receive the diagnosis of TNBC (Triple Negative Breast Cancer), an aggressive form of breast cancer that occurs more often in younger women.4

Early detection and treatment of breast cancer can save lives

Even though the treatment options have improved considerably and many patients live cancer-free today, about 1,400 women and 10 men die from breast cancer each year in Switzerland.2 This makes breast cancer the third most common cause of death from cancer (after lung cancer and colon cancer) in Switzerland.2 An early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can be crucial.

Christina Christen: President EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

Christina Christen, President EUROPA DONNA Schweiz. Diagnosis breast cancer 2004.

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“The earlier breast cancer is detected and treated, the greater the chances of curing it.” says Christina Christen, President of EUROPA DONNA Schweiz. “Each of us can actively contribute to lowering the risk of breast cancer. Becoming informed about breast cancer is the first step. A healthy lifestyle, having gynecological pre-screening exams and regular breast examinations contribute to prevention and early detection. Early breast cancer detection can be crucial!, adds Christina Christen.

Dates and locations of the Pink Cube

Sep. 29 / Sep. 30Liestal
Oct. 05 / Oct. 06Chur
Oct. 20 / Oct. 21Baden
Oct. 27 / Oct. 28Zurich

Pink Cube in Liestal

Where:Rathausstrasse 37, Liestal
When:Friday, September 29 from 2 PM to 6 PM and Saturday, September 30 from 9 AM to 1 PM
On site:Dr. med. Sonja Ebner with the team of the Breast Center Baselland and members of the breast cancer patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

Pink Cube in Chur

Where:Alexanderplatz, Chur
When:Thursday, October 05 from 1 PM to 7 PM and Friday, October 06 from 1 PM to 7 PM
On site:Dr. med. Martina Maranta and Dr. med. (I) Christina Prevost with the gynecology teams of the University Hospital Zurich and Cantonal Hospital Graubünden and members of the breast cancer patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

Pink Cube in Baden

Where:Bahnhofplatz, 5400 Baden
When:Friday, October 20 from 1 PM to 7 PM and Saturday, October 21 from 10 AM to 4 PM
On site:PD Dr. Nik Hauser with the team of the Aargau Gynecologist Center and members of the breast cancer patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

Pink Cube in Zurich

Where:Train station Zurich Stadelhofen
When:Friday, October 27 from 1 PM to 7 PM and Saturday, October 28 from 9 AM to 4 PM
On site:Dr. med. (BG) Alina Staikov und Dr. med. (I) Alessandra Moscaroli with the gynpoint-team and members of the breast cancer patient organization EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

Invitation for members of the media

You are cordially invited to visit the Pink Cube in Liestal, Chur, Baden and Zurich.
For your reporting, we will be glad to provide you with interview texts and photographic material of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Upon request, we will give you the personal contact information of Christina Christen, President of EUROPA DONNA Schweiz. If you are interested, please contact the public relations representative, Susanne Thost, Credo GmbH PR & Communications at sthost@credo-pr.ch, Tel. +41 79 356 23 84.

About EUROPA DONNA Schweiz

EUROPA DONNA Schweiz is an organization of women with breast cancer, doctors, politicians and other committed personalities. In Switzerland, one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. But breast cancer is not solely a women’s problem. It affects the entire healthcare system and people’s working and private life. EUROPA DONNA Schweiz organizes and supports various activities, and by means of networking and political lobbying, stands up for all women in Switzerland to ensure that they receive optimal early detection, treatment and follow-up care for breast cancer. With visible campaigns, such as the 19,500 bras on the Bundesplatz, EUROPA DONNA Schweiz already promoted the introduction of a Swiss-wide mammography screening program in 2008. EUROPA DONNA Schweiz is part of the European Breast Cancer Coalition that 47 member states belong to. It is the only patient organization for women with breast cancer in Switzerland that also actively supports the political interests of its members.
Further information: www.europadonna.ch / www.simplythebreast.ch
www.facebook.com/europadonnaschweiz/

Further information:

Public relations contact “Breast cancer awareness campaign in the Pink Cube”

Susanne Thost
Credo GmbH PR & Communications
Public relations representative for “Breast cancer awareness campaign in the Pink Cube”
sthost@credo-pr.ch | Tel. +41 79 356 23 84.

References

  1. https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/cancers/39-All-cancers-fact-sheet.pdf, viewed on Sep. 04, 2023
  2. https://www.krebsliga.ch/ueber-krebs/zahlen-fakten/-dl-/fileadmin/downloads/sheets/zahlen-krebs-in-der-schweiz.pdf, viewed on Sep. 04, 2023
  3. https://www.krebsliga.ch/ueber-krebs/krebsarten/brustkrebs, viewed on Sep. 04, 2023
  4. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/breast-cancer/about/types-of-breast-cancer/triple-negative.html, viewed on Sep. 04, 2023

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

CH-NON-02363, 09/2023

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MSD bikers at Race for Life 2023
MSD employees at Race for Life 2023

Lucerne, September 10, 2023 – Merck Sharp & Dohme AG (MSD) Switzerland hit the pedals with a will for a good cause once again this year: The pharmaceutical company showed their support for cancer patients and promoted cancer research in Switzerland as a co-sponsor of the charity cycling marathon Race for Life in Bern on September 10. The participation of numerous employees in the event also made a strong statement.

Race for Life 2023: showing commitment for cancer patients in Switzerland

This is the second year in a row that MSD Switzerland has co-sponsored the Race for Life, together with the UCI, the University Cancer Center Inselspital and Just AG. Race for Life was brought to life 13 years ago to collect donations to support cancer patient and foster public awareness of the challenges that they and their families must face. This year, the donations will go to the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), the Swiss Cancer Foundation and the allani Kinderhospiz Bern. After all, the focus of the cycling marathon is not actually the race – instead, it is the joy of life that can at least in part be returned to those affected through our support.

Race participants in the charity cycling marathon can choose to tackle various routes that will allow them to “clock up” donations. There are three different route lengths to choose from: the 5-km Aare-Promenade «Bern-Marzili», with a climb of 96 m, the 17-km Gurten-Bergpreis stretch with a climb of 440 m, and the extremely challenging 31-km Panorama Challenge «Bern-Längenberg» with a climb of 580 m. But there are many other ways to support cancer patients that do not involve cycling, such as being a team patron, donor, volunteer, or participant in the Yoga for Life or Kids4Kids activities.

MSD Switzerland employees getting involved for cancer patients

The fight against cancer is an integral part of everyday working life for MSD Switzerland employees. Race for Life gives these employees a visible way to show their solidarity with patients and their relatives by hitting the pedals. Last year, around 80 MSD employees took part in Race for Life. This year, more than 130 gave up their free time to cycle for a good cause. Participation in this event is voluntary, which highlights the strong sense of social responsibility and commitment among the MSD Switzerland employees.

Cancer patients in Switzerland

Some 45,000 people in Switzerland are diagnosed with cancer each year1. This diagnosis can dramatically change someone’s life. It is precisely during these difficult times that those affected, along with their families, social, and professional contacts, are most dependent on support from cancer organizations. But these organizations can only offer appropriate support if they receive adequate funding.

MSD Switzerland supports various cancer organizations in Switzerland by sponsoring and participating in Race for Life to make sure that cancer patients and their loved ones get the help that they so desperately need. Race for Life also offers an important platform for highlighting the challenges that cancer patients and their relatives in Switzerland have to face, even mobilizing support out of solidarity.

"This is the second time that I'm taking part in Race for Life. It is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for cancer. I believe that the most important message is that nowadays, cancer can be cured. Thanks to successful research, we have seen steadily increasing numbers of cancer survivors."

Caroline Hobi

MSD Switzerland employee and Race for Life 2023 participant

"Race for Life is an amazing event. It allows me to raise awareness for cancer and spread the message that there is still a lot of research to be done on this disease. By taking part, I'm actively supporting these research projects and allowing patients to access innovative treatment options.”

Michael Hüsler

MSD Switzerland employee and Race for Life 2023 participant

"I learned about Race for Life when my employer, MSD Switzerland, first became an event partner in 2022. I was immediately fascinated by the chance to do something good, and combine this with a bit of sport and fun. Participating in Race for Life as a volunteer and cyclist is a matter of personal importance to me, since I have also had to say goodbye to people I love who lost the fight against cancer. By taking part in the 2023 charity cycling tour, I can make a tiny contribution to ensure better support for cancer sufferers and more funding for cancer research. I will also thoroughly enjoy sharing this experience with my colleagues from MSD Switzerland, the scenic cycling routes around Bern, and the other lively and engaging activities making up the Race for Life program. I can't wait for the upcoming event.”

Daniela Studer

MSD Switzerland employee and Race for Life 2023 participant

Hitting the pedals together – because every step counts in the fight against cancer

MSD Switzerland is proud to be a part of the valuable community initiative, Race for Life, which supports the lives of cancer patients. MSD employees taking part in this event do so with zeal and dedicate themselves to supporting cancer patients in Switzerland during their free time.

VOLUNTEERING AT MSD SWITZERLAND – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Social responsibility is more than just a slogan at MSD Switzerland – it’s part of our daily routine. To do our part to make the world a better place, we offer employees up to 40 paid hours annually to take part in volunteering projects.

Working together for a clean environment

Our employees actively take responsibility for their communities. Good examples of our commitment are the Volunteering Days in Lucerne and Zürich, which are jointly organized with IG Saubere Umwelt (IGSU) and Madame Frigo. We invited employees from all five sites to take part in this campaign to rid the streets of Lucerne and Zürich of trash and join the fight against food waste.

Community and learning

Volunteer work not only supports those in need, it also cultivates a sense of community, solidarity, and personal development. At MSD, we offer numerous volunteer programs to allow our employees to gain new skills and expand their competency outside of their professional daily routine.

Effective involvement

Our volunteering campaigns have measurable effects. For example, at Volunteering Days in 2022, we collected more than 45 kg of general waste, 24 kg of glass, 8.3 kg of aluminum, and 3.3 kg of PET bottles. These figures show how important each individual contribution to a clean and sustainable environment can be.

MSD employees at the Volunteering Days 2022
MSD Switzerland Volunteering Days 2022

Further information

References

1. Krebsliga Schweiz. Zahlen & Fakten: Die häufigsten Krebsarten in der Schweiz. (= Facts and Figures: The most common cancers in Switzerland) www.krebsliga.ch/ueber-krebs/zahlen-fakten. Last accessed: September 2023.

About Race for Life

Race for Life is a non-profit charity event collecting funds to support cancer patients and their families. The main objective of the event is to increase awareness of the challenges associated with cancer while simultaneously promoting a sense of community and fun through various activities – from cycling to yoga, and even including a children’s program. Race for Life 2023 starts at the Bundesplatz in Bern on Sunday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m. Private individuals can also support the event: take part as a cyclist, either on your own or as part of the team, or as a volunteer assistant or sponsor. You can register at raceforlife.ch.

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

Media Contact MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago
Policy & Communications Switzerland
media.switzerland@msd.com I Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02344, 09/2023

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Lucerne, June 5 2023 – MSD Switzerland (MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) firmly believes that equality, diversity and inclusion are key success factors within the company. As a key factor for motivation in the workplace and ensuring equal career opportunities, fair compensation is part of the company’s commitment. The results of a salary audit conducted by an external partner confirm that equal pay is part of the culture at MSD Switzerland, in all parts of the business. MSD Switzerland was awarded the We Participate label for our work on promoting diversity as well as the Swiss LGBTI label for our commitment and support to the LGBTQ+ community.

Equal pay for equal work & equal career opportunities

Generally, there is an increased focus and commitment to ensuring fairness and creating equal opportunities among employees. The fact that all human beings have equal rights – and are entitled to equal pay for work of equal value, to name one example – is enshrined in Switzerland in the revised Federal Act on Equality between Women and Men.1

The MSD Fair Pay Analysis

Since the introduction of the Gender Equality Act (GIG) in July 2020, companies operating in Switzerland with more than 100 employees are required to conduct an equal pay analysis.1 For this purpose, MSD Switzerland commissioned Willis Towers Watson, a company specializing in running fair and equal pay analyses. The MSD Fair Pay Analysis was completed in 2021/2022 and included around 1,000 employees of MSD Switzerland. The results of the analysis, which were reviewed and approved by an independent and accredited auditor, confirm that MSD Switzerland complies with the legal requirements for equal pay2 and thus meets the imperative of “Equal pay for equal work.”

MSD Switzerland continues to take its social responsibility of rewarding their employees no matter the gender equally very seriously and will continue to conduct audits on remuneration equality in the future.

"Equality, diversity and integration within the company are success factors. This also includes fair compensation for employees, as one of the key factors for motivation in the workplace. We are proud that equal pay is a daily practice at MSD Switzerland!"

Judeke Frederiks

HR Director MSD Switzerland

Commitment also to women’s networks and more inclusion

In addition to the equal pay already established, MSD also remains committed to equal opportunities for women: at MSD Switzerland, the future target for management positions held by female and male employees is 50/50.

To date, MSD has 10 Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) and Action Networks worldwide, including internal women’s networks and networks dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, employees of different ethnic backgrounds and next-generation employees. In 6 of the total of 10 Employee Business Resource Groups, which aim to promote inclusion at all of the company’s sites, employees and managers from MSD Switzerland are also involved.

MSD Switzerland honored with Swiss LGBTI Label & We Participate Label 2023

MSD has a long tradition of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more) stands for people who differ from the majority of the population in their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender characteristics.

In 2021, MSD Switzerland was awarded the Swiss LGBTI Label, the quality label for organizations based in Switzerland that are committed to the internal equality of LGBTQ+ people.

Swiss LGBTI Label Logo

MSD Switzerland was recently awarded the We Participate 2023 label by the University of St. Gallen, which independently collects key diversity indicators (gender, age, nationality, language, employment level and education) from companies with 100 or more employees each year and analyzes them objectively, efficiently aligned with the human resources process.

Further information

References

1. Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Bundesverfassung über die Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann. Stand: 1. Juli 2020: https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/1996/1498_1498_1498/de

2. Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Beschaffungskonferenz des Bundes (BKB). Lohngleichheit für Mann und Frau. Stand: 17. Dezember 2022. https://www.bkb.admin.ch/bkb/de/home/themen/arbeitsschutzbestimmungen-und–bedingungen–lohngleichheit/lohngleichheit-fuer-frau-und-mann.html

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

Media Contact MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

media.switzerland@msd.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02283

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Schachen, June 20, 2023. Today MSD Werthenstein BioPharma GmbH officially unveiled a new research laboratory building at its Schachen facility. Nearly CHF 20 million have been invested in the project over the past three years. The new building represents a substantial expansion of laboratory capacity at the facility. “In the future, more than 20 analysts and engineers will work in the additional 350 square meters the laboratory space makes available,” says site manager, Dr. Corinna Lenz.

The development of analytical methods for new active substances and medicines is one of the main focuses at MSD’s Schachen facility. Just under one sixth of the approximately 490 employees work in this area. “The need for additional laboratory capacity here has increased dramatically in recent years, and we are very pleased to now have the new laboratories up and running,” said Dr. John Naber, Director of Biological Analytical Research and Development. The new area houses various specialized laboratories, focusing on a range of activities from the examination of cell cultures, bioassays and PCR analyses to mass spectroscopy or biochemistry activities.

The Schachen facility has classically been utilized to develop methods to analyze starting materials as well as intermediate and end products. Now, the facility will also be working on analysis methods that can be used to seamlessly monitor and control a continuous production process. Continuous production processes are still very much the outliers in the pharmaceutical industry due to the fact the technical and regulatory requirements are extremely high. The new laboratories are also undertaking the ongoing goal to further advance development within its walls.

Following the official unveiling of the new facilities, all employees at the site had the opportunity to visit the new building and have their colleagues explain the wide range of devices and equipment.

More information

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

About MSD Schachen

Approximately 490 employees from around 30 countries work at MSD Schachen, and it is one of only two sites in MSD’s global network that provides patients who are participating clinical trials with new medicines. The clinical trial medicines are packaged and labeled here and then shipped to clinical trial sites around the world. In recent years, MSD has continued to expand this site, which specializes in development programs. In total, investments approaching CHF 150 million have flowed into Schachen since 2012. In addition to developing analytical methods, MSD has a clinical-scale biotechnical production facility here that manufactures new active substances and also has capacity to complete sterile packaging for new medicines. The facility also has a forensic laboratory that works to combat counterfeiting of MSD products; it is one of three facilities that maintains this focus within the worldwide MSD network.

Media Contact MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

media.switzerland@msd.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02251

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Lucerne, June 5 2023 – MSD Switzerland (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first Swiss subsidiary in Lucerne this year. At the same time, the company confirms its commitment to the site and the Lucerne region. With five subsidiaries in the country, including four in the Lucerne region, Switzerland is one of the most important hubs for MSD worldwide.

MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) is one of the world’s leading research-based biopharmaceutical companies
with a history spanning more than 130 years. MSD is focused on scientific innovation to provide medicines and vaccines that can help millions of people around the world. In 1894, George W. Merck took the helm of the company founded by his father. MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) is known as Merck & Co. in the United States and Canada.

MSD has also been operating in Switzerland for 60 years: the first Swiss subsidiary was established in 1963. Since then, MSD Switzerland has successfully developed into an organization with five local subsidiaries.

Photo: George W. Merck
George W. Merck, (© Foto: MSD)
Photo: Employees Werthenstein Chemie AG (Schachen/Lucerne) in 1976
Employees Werthenstein Chemie AG Schachen/Lucerne) in 1976 (© Photo: MSD)
Photo: Production of pharmaceuticals at Merck/MSD in 1939
Production of pharmaceuticals at Merck/MSD in 1939 (© Photo: MSD)
Photo: A truck of Merck & Co. founded in 1891
A truck of Merck & Co. founded in 1891 (© Photo: MSD)
Photo: Employees packing cortisone in 1952
Employees packing cortisone in 1952 (© Photo: MSD)

One of the largest employers in the Lucerne region

Including the employees of the innovation and development center The Circle in Zurich, around 1,000 employees from more than 54 nations work for MSD in Switzerland. With four sites in the Lucerne region, MSD is one of the largest employers in the Lucerne region. As a certified Top Employer, MSD attaches
great importance to fostering diversity and inclusion as well as the professional and personal development of its employees.

Loyalty and commitment to the Lucerne region

The groundwork for the new site on the Rösslimatt site in Lucerne was completed at the end of 2022. With the relocation to the new premises planned for 2025, MSD is consciously retaining its loyalty to the city of Lucerne. In the new complex, MSD will be part of the innovative and vibrant Rösslimatt area in Lucerne, which is planned as a hub of science, research and creativity. Thus, with the relocation, MSD is focusing on the expansion of already existing synergies in the Lucerne region.

In Switzerland, long-term partnerships and support for local projects are an integral part of social commitment: in the Lucerne area, for example, MSD Switzerland also assumes responsibility for the community. The company is involved, for example, in the Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern (Health Trend Days Lucerne) and the Allianz Gesundheitskompetenz (Health Literacy Alliance). Through a partnership, MSD also supports the non-profit organization Madame Frigo, dedicated to combating food waste, and sponsors the Race for Life bike marathon for the benefit of people affected by cancer as well as promoting cancer research.


“MSD Switzerland has been committed to providing patients with innovative medicines and vaccines for 60 years. The extensive investments that MSD has made in Switzerland for more than half a century, represent an important contribution to the Swiss economy. – I am delighted to be part of MSD Switzerland and to work towards our strategic goals in Lucerne, the ‘heart of Switzerland’.”

Dimitri Gitas – Managing Director MSD Switzerland

Activities of MSD in Switzerland

MSD’s operational activities in Switzerland include the local, regional and global area of Human Health, as well as the global Supply Chain Management. Switzerland is also part of MSD’s global clinical research program: the team at the Lucerne facilities is currently coordinating more than 40 clinical trials in Switzerland in the fields of oncology, infectious diseases including lung and liver diseases (as of March 2023). At the Schachen site, MSD manufactures drugs for global clinical trials and operates a forensic laboratory. In addition, MSD has a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents and adults, such as human papillomavirus/HPV or varicella zoster virus/VZV («chickenpox»).

MSD’s long track record of success

Merck & Co. has a long history of successful innovations and achievements in healthcare (Fig. 1). The company was founded in 1891 and launched the first diphtheria antitoxin just four years later. In 1942, MSD began producing penicillin and shortly thereafter (1944) synthesized cortisone for the first time. In
1971, an MMR (“measles, mumps and rubella”) vaccine was released by MSD, and 6 years later, a pneumonia vaccine. In subsequent years, MSD received regulatory approval for additional vaccines:
against hepatitis B (1986) and against human papillomavirus/HPV (2006). In 1996, MSD was granted marketing authorization for a therapy against the human immunodeficiency virus/HIV, and in 2006 a drug against type 2 diabetes was approved. Clinical research continued steadily, enabling MSD to launch a number of innovative targeted cancer therapies in 2014. Finally, in 2020, MSD played an important role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Timeline MSD
Fig. 1.: Key milestones of Merck & Co., today MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme) at a glance

MSD has been committed to improving people’s health worldwide for more than 130 years through the discovery and development of important medicines and vaccines. For 60 years, also the Lucerne region has played a significant role as an important MSD hub.

About MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

More information

Media Contact MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

media.switzerland@msd.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02238

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Lucerne, March 29, 2023 – The annual Lucerne Health Trend Days symposium was held across March 22 and 23 at Lucerne’s Culture and Convention Center (KKL Luzern). Through this event, the organizing association, Forum Gesundheit Luzern, is creating a national platform to facilitate the exchange of experiences and encourage attendees to form opinions on trends and perspectives in healthcare, and once again welcomed around 600 influencers and decision-makers in the areas of medicine, science, business and politics. This year’s event centered on the fascinating topic of “Psycho+Somatic: interactions between body and mind”. – MSD also believes it has a responsibility to focus on the health and wellbeing of its patients and employees.

As a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Lucerne, MSD Switzerland (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) has supported the Lucerne Health Trend Days since 2013. In the words of Jean-Blaise Defago, Director Policy & Communications at MSD in Switzerland: “MSD has supported Lucerne Health Trend Days for many years as a principal partner, and has remained firmly committed to the region throughout its 60-year history in Lucerne. The central location and stable environment have been key in choosing the location of our site. MSD Switzerland would like to continue its tradition in Lucerne, and to that end, will merge three of the five MSD sites in future, bringing 650 jobs under one single address at our new, sustainable urban site in Lucerne’s Rösslimatt district.”
Gabriele Grom, Executive Director, Public Policy Lead, Mid-Europe Region at MSD, took part in this year’s panel discussion on mental health and wellbeing in a fast-paced business environment. The mental health and wellbeing of employees is of the utmost importance at MSD. The objective is to never lose sight of the goal of providing employees with the best possible working environment: one in which they can learn, grow and succeed, but also be given the opportunity to experience an error culture. This is also reflected in the fact that MSD has been awarded the  “Top Employer” certification for the 11th consecutive year.

Mens sana in corpore sano

This year’s debates and discussions centered around the fascinating topic of interactions between the psyche and the body. For example, the paradigm shift in psychosocial care, similarities and differences between psychosomatics and psychiatry, digital interventions for mental illness and how the brain turns stress into pain were all explored during fascinating expert presentations and roundtable discussions.

4 Questions for Gabriele Grom, mag., Executive Director, Public Policy Lead, Mid-Europe Region at MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme)

Mental health and wellbeing are central to a company like MSD that focuses on people’s health. What does MSD provide as a means to care for its employees’ wellbeing?

Gabriele Grom: Our employees’ mental health and wellbeing is a top priority at MSD. That’s why we offer our staff a range of programmes in different areas.

  • At the onset of the COVID pandemic, for example, MSD introduced a new policy that gives employees and managers in Switzerland full flexibility over how much and how often they work away from the office (such as working from home and remote working).
  • We also hold workshops on psychological safety as a way to help create a high-trust working environment.
  • At MSD Switzerland, all new parents have been able to take 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave since 2020, irrespective of their gender, within the first twelve months after adopting a child or welcoming a newborn.
  • All our employees worldwide also have free, unlimited access to the Calm app, which offers a wealth of tips and fascinating information about mental health.

“Our employees’ mental health and wellbeing is a top priority at MSD.”

Gabriele Grom

“Diversity” and “inclusion” are integral in today’s society. How can one imagine this as an outsider?

Gabriele Grom: Increased “employee engagement”, improved economic success and greater innovative strength are just a few positive aspects of having a diverse workforce. MSD is actively committed to fostering diversity and inclusion. One of the ways which we’re doing this is through our internal networks such as the Womenʼs Network, Next Generation Network, LGBTQI Network and the Network for Employees of African Descent. These initiatives are key milestones on the way toward a better working environment for all MSD employees in Switzerland. and illustrate our company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and wellbeing. MSD was also honored to receive the Swiss LGBTI Label in 2021, a certification awarded to companies and organizations with an open and inclusive culture.

“MSD’s internal networks, such as the Women’s Network, represent the company’s values and beliefs, and are designed to help employees achieve the best possible balance between personal life and career.”

Gabriele Grom

Does MSD also have an “error culture”? How do you deal with setbacks?

Gabriele Grom: Yes, we have and encourage an “error culture” at MSD. As a company, we want to continue to develop in order to improve. This also includes acknowledging mistakes, analyzing them and learning from them. With this in mind, we’d also like to challenge our employees to blaze new trails and find innovative solutions. To motivate employees to share mistakes with others and see them in a positive light, we’ve created what we call “error awards” in many countries.

How would MSD like to be perceived as a pharmaceutical company?

Gabriele Grom: MSD’s Swiss subsidiary, which has its headquarters in Lucerne, is one of the most important MSD sites in Europe. MSD isn’t just an innovative biopharmaceutical company; it’s also an active partner and committed player in the Swiss healthcare system. MSD Switzerland makes an important contribution to the prevention of and education about diseases, and is also involved in the Health Literacy Alliance and its sponsorship awards, which are awarded every two years. As a member of the Round Table on Antibiotics, the company is committed to incentivizing and providing access to new antibiotic treatments. MSD is a principal partner in various platforms designed to facilitate exchange regarding healthcare policy, including the Lucerne Health Trend Days and Race for Life.

Thank you very much for this interview.

MSD, Gabriele Grom Foto: © Peter Rigaud

Gabriele Grom, Executive Director, Public Policy Lead Mid-Europe Region at MSD, graduated from the University of Tübingen with a degree in Pharmacy and has worked for MSD for 28 years. Prior to joining the global marketing organization in the United States in 2014, she worked in various marketing and sales positions. After returning from the U.S., she became Managing Director of MSD Hungary and headed MSD Austria from 2009, after which Gabriele became Cluster lead for Central Eastern Europe. She also served as Chair and Vice Chair of the EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) CEE Task Force from 2018 to 2021. In 2016, she was appointed Chair of the Supervisory Board of MSD Germany, and is also an Executive Ambassador for MSD for Mothers on issues regarding diversity and inclusion at both in-house and external events.

As principal partner of the Lucerne Health Trend Days, MSD would like to continue to look ahead at the future challenges and opportunities in the debate and make a sustainable contribution to the further development of the Swiss healthcare system.

About MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit www.msd.com and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2023, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the eleventh time in a row.

For more information, please visit msd.chde.msd-animal-health.ch and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

More information

Weitere Informationen:

Media department MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

media.switzerland@msd.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

CH-NON-02160

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Bern, March 7, 2023. The Health Literacy Alliance supports innovative projects for improving health literacy in Switzerland. To this end, it awards a range of prizes every two years.
The main prize, sponsored by MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme, goes to the project “Ado Academy (Académie des Pairs) of the Ado Association in Fribourg”. The projects “Oral Tumor Therapy” of the Oral Tumor Therapy Association and “Symptom Navi Program (SNP)” of the Swiss Association for the Promotion of Self-Management (VFSM) have been awarded joint first prize for achievement. The second prize for achievement has been awarded to the project “First-aid lessons for mental health in children and adolescents (ensa Teens Pilot)” of Pro Mente Sana.

The health literacy award ceremony was held on March 7, 2023, at the Health Promotion Conference in Bern. An international jury of thirteen experts in the fields of service provision, health policy, public administration, and research selected the following three projects from the dossiers that were submitted:

  • The main prize of CHF 13,000, sponsored by MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme, goes to the project “Ado Academy (Académie des Pairs) of the Ado Association in Fribourg”:
    The main goal of this project is to prevent and reduce risk-taking behavior among peers in the same age group during parties. The measures aim to provide quality guidance to attendees of such events by implementing a range of projects tailored to the needs identified at such events. In particular, the measures have three priorities: event supervision, training for those in charge of prevention, and working together with a network of social-health providers who are committed to specific prevention topics.
    Further information: Association AdO (association-ado.ch)
  • The projects “Oral Tumor Therapy” of the Oral Tumor Therapy Association and “Symptom Navi Program (SNP)” of the Swiss Association for the Promotion of Self-Management (VFSM) have been awarded joint first prize for achievement.
    The “Oral Tumor Therapy” Association develops approaches for specialists to enable their patients to take medication against tumors more effectively in accordance with the prescription. This is intended to strengthen and improve the skills and abilities of patients and caregivers for managing their situation independently, while at the same time improving the individual information and advice that patients receive from their doctors, nursing staff and pharmacists.
    Further information: Oral tumor therapy
  • The “Symptom Navi Program (SNP)” project supports all cancer patients in Switzerland in coping with their illness and the consequences of treatment. It includes symptom fliers for those affected: Information on managing the symptoms of cancer as well as a concept for training specialists, thus supporting collaboration among cancer patients and specialists along the entire care chain.
    Further information: symptomnavi.ch
  • The second prize for achievement goes to the project “First-aid lessons for mental health in children and adolescents (ensa Teens Pilot)” of Pro Mente Sana:
    The mental health first-aid course for teens aims to improve mental health literacy among all teenage groups by reducing stigmatizing behaviors and attitudes that often prevent young people from gaining access to the help and support they may need. Adolescents recognize mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety) and mental health crises (e.g., suicidal tendencies, self-harm) among members of their peer group and know how to support each other appropriately by consulting a trusted adult who is trained in providing first aid on mental health issues among young people.
    Further information: ensa – Home

About the Health Literacy Alliance

Health literacy refers to individuals’ ability to make decisions in everyday life that have a positive effect on their health. As a platform, the Health Literacy Alliance connects decision-makers in health care, science, education, politics, business and the media to promote health literacy in Switzerland. It was founded in 2010 by Public Health Switzerland, Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz (Health Promotion Switzerland), the Careum Foundation, the Association of Swiss Physicians FMH, and MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Further information: www.allianz-gesundheitskompetenz.ch

Contact:

Allianz Gesundheitskompetenz

Barbara Weil

C/o FMH, Nussbaumstrasse 29, Postfach 300, 3000 Bern 15

Phone: +41 76 413 63 16, info@allianz-gesundheitskompetenz.ch

CH-NON-02120