MSD & “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” (Lucerne Health Trend Congress) are committed to healthy longevity

Save Print

08.03.2024 11:55 Europe/Zurich

>> Go to all press releases

Lucerne, March 8, 2024 – This year once again saw the “Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern” (Lucerne Culture and Congress Center) hosting the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” on March 6 and 7, 2024. The sponsoring association, “Forum Gesundheit Luzern” (Lucerne Health Forum), which establishes a national platform for exchanging experience and fostering the formation of opinions on trends and prospects in the healthcare sector thanks to this event, welcomed around 600 opinion leaders and decision-makers from the fields of medicine, science, business, and politics. Life expectancy in Switzerland is one of the highest worldwide: between 1990 and 2022, this increased by 7.6 and 4.6 years for men and women respectively.1 This year’s focus was therefore on the very exciting and topical subject of “FOREVER YOUNG?”. MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme), whose Swiss headquarters are located in Lucerne, also believes it has a responsibility to focus on the health and well-being of people in all age groups as well as its employees.

As a leading biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Lucerne, MSD Switzerland (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) has already been supporting the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” since 2013.

Jean-Blaise Defago, Government & Public Affairs Lead at MSD Switzerland: “Long-term local commitments are very important to MSD. Our commitment to the “Trendtage” is aimed at helping to shape important debate in the long term and at making a sustainable contribution to the evolution of the healthcare sector.”

Dr. Peter Csutora, MD, Country Medical Director at MSD Switzerland, took part in this year’s panel discussion on March 7, 2024 on the topic of “Living better and longer: in which direction is the pharmaceutical industry conducting research and development?”. The debate with the other participants dealt with the question of the direction in which the pharmaceutical industry is conducting research in order to extend people’s health span and enable them to remain healthy for as long as possible (also referred to as “longevity”).

Dr. Peter Csutora, MD, is firmly convinced that innovative research could improve the results of treatment for numerous diseases and health complaints suffered by patients.

Panel discussion “Living better and longer” from the left: Dr. Peter Csutora MD (Country Medical Director, MSD Switzerland), Nicole Frank (host), Davide Cavanna (Therapeutic Area Lead GI/GU, AstraZeneca Switzerland), and Nina Reichert (Medical Director, Amgen) © Photo: MSD/Meier & Kamer GmbH

Dr. Peter Csutora, Director Medical Affairs

3 questions for
Dr. Peter Csutora, MD, Country Medical Director, MSD Switzerland

In which therapeutic areas is MSD conducting research?

MSD is concentrating on the development of scientific innovations for delivering drugs and vaccines that make a sustainable contribution to the health and well-being of people of all age groups. Our focus is on oncology, the development of new vaccines, and research in the area of infectious diseases.

MSD adheres to the philosophy that “Medicine is for the people”. What exactly does that mean?

No medical progress without research. According to the philosophy of “Medicine is for the people”, which comes from Georg W. Merck, the son of our company’s founder, MSD conducts research for mankind and generates ideas and solutions. It does this to develop innovative drugs and vaccines that can help people of any age around the globe. To achieve this, we invest around one quarter of our turnover each year.

An increasing number of people around the globe are developing cancer. What progress has MSD achieved in the fight against cancer?

In the area of oncology, which is one of our company’s core segments, we are concentrating on immunotherapy aimed at activating the body’s own immune system to fight the tumor. Our commitment to research and development has enabled us to establish an unusually broad-based research program consisting of more than 1,600 clinical trials. Switzerland is part of this program, with 34 clinical trials involving various types of tumors at present (status 10/2023). Today, our portfolio encompasses oncological drugs for treating various types of cancer and their comorbidities. Our goal is innovations that extend and improve the lives of people with cancer. That is our daily motivation. That’s what drives us.

Thank you for talking to us.

Life expectancy and state of health in 20231

  • Life expectancy at birth in Switzerland is one of the highest worldwide: between 1990 and 2022, this increased by 7.6 and 4.6 years for men and women respectively. Life expectancy with good health is around 71 years and is practically identical for men and women.1
  • According to the Swiss Health Survey conducted in 2023, 86% of men and 84% of women rate their state of health as good or very good.1
  • Each year, over 45,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed; more than one in five persons develop cancer before the age of 70.1
  • Cancer is the most frequent cause of death in Switzerland; from around the age of 80, cancer is replaced by cardiovascular diseases as the cause of death.1

As the main partner of “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern”, MSD would like to remain proactively committed to the future challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector and make a sustainable contribution to the evolution of Swiss healthcare as well as the health of people of all age groups.

About MSD

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 and follow us on X (formerly Twitter)LinkedInFacebook and YouTube.


1 Federal Office for Statistics (BFS). Healthcare: Pocket Statistics 2024. Information status: 2024-02-23. Available at: Last accessed: March 1, 2024.

Further information

Media contact

Jean-Blaise Defago (Government & Public Affairs Lead) | phone +41 58 618 30 30

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

CH-NON-02596, 02/2024

>> Go to all press releases