We are a Top Employer!

For the 11th time in a row, our company has received the "Top Employer" award. The award recognizes the variety of benefits that MSD offers to its employees, such as a newly introduced working-from-home policy or the generous parental leave for mothers and fathers of 16 weeks.

17 January 2023

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Top Employer Award 2023

Every year, the independent Top Employers Institute  certifies organizations that are focused on putting their employees first and provide an attractive workplace environment that encourages professional and personal development. The certification is based on the participation and results of the HR Best Practices Survey. Important factors for winning the Award include above-average ratings in:

  • Human Resources Management
  • Compensation and social security
  • Career opportunities
  • Working conditions
  • Training and continuing education, and
  • Corporate culture.

MSD achieved excellent results in all survey categories

Employee engagement, their well-being, and recognition and rewards were rated as above average. One more top scorer is the area of Unity, which is comprised of Ethical Integrity, Values, Diversity & Inclusion and Work environment.

Judeke Frederiks
Judeke Frederiks, HR Director Switzerland

“We are honored to be recognized as a Top Employer in Switzerland once again. The award we received underlines our ongoing commitment to creating flexible working conditions and an attractive workplace. We are proud to be above benchmark in many areas, especially in employee well-being.”

Employee benefits

Since 2020, all new parents, regardless of gender, are offered 16 weeks with 100% pay within the first 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child. This policy is one of the most generous and inclusive in Switzerland, compared to the two weeks that have been legally required in Switzerland. In the same year, MSD instituted a new policy giving full flexibility to employees and their managers to determine how much they work remotely. In addition, MSD has put increased emphasis on working in digital ways becoming a more agile organization and more focused on growth and learning.

Diversity and inclusion are important to us

MSD actively promotes diversity and inclusion, for example through the many internal networks like the Womenʼs Network, the Next Generation Network and the LGBTQI Network. The mentioned initiatives are important milestones in line with its commitment to diversity, inclusion and well-being. More importantly, it reflects the company values understanding on how to achieve the best possible balance between private life, family, and career.

Want to know more about us and MSD as a company?

Read our stories!

CH-NON-01563, 01/2023

Knowledge

Things to know about cancer and the biomarker MSI-H/dMMR

Cancer patients need treatment that is most suitable for their specific disease. Biomarkers, biological characteristics that can be measured in blood or tissue samples, are an aid in finding the right treatment. MSI-h/dMMR is such a biomarker.

19.12.2022

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Cancer is more than just one disease. There are many types of cancer and the disease can occur anywhere in the body. It develops when healthy cells grow uncontrolled: they become cancer cells and destroy healthy tissue. Cancer cells can spread, break away from their place of origin, and affect other parts of the body (metastasize). Cancer patients need treatment that is most suitable for their specific disease. Biomarkers, biological characteristics that can be measured in blood or tissue samples, are an aid in finding the right treatment. MSI-h/dMMR is such a biomarker.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide

43’500

In Switzerland, about 43’500 people are newly diagnosed with cancer each year, about 17’200 die of it, and about 67% still live 5 years after diagnosis.

19’000’000

In 2020, more than 19 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer. Nearly 10 million people died of it.

What happens in the body when cancer develops

All cells in our body have certain jobs to do. Normal cells divide in an orderly way. They die when they are worn out or damaged, and new cells take their place. In cancer, cells divide uncontrollably and crowd out the normal cells. This causes discomfort in the part of the body where the cancer started. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. Most cancers form lumps, which are also called tumors.

How do cancers differ?

Some cancers grow and spread fast. Others grow more slowly. They also respond to treatment in different ways. For example, some types of cancer can be treated well with surgery, while others respond better to drugs like chemotherapy, immunotherapy or a combination of different therapies. Often more than one treatment is used.

The role of biomarkers in cancer treatment

Biomarkers are certain biological characteristics that can be measured in blood or tissue samples. They help to better understand a cancer disease and can provide information for the choice of a treatment option. There are several biomarkers, MSI-H/dMMR is one of them.

  • MSI-H is the abbreviation for MicroSatellite Instability High. MSI is a change in short, repeating DNA sequences (microsatellites), that is often found in tumor cells of certain cancers. MSI-H cancer cells cannot correct errors that occur during DNA replication.
  • dMMR stands for “deficient mismatch repair”, which means “defective DNA repair system”. Normally, the DNA repair system intervenes when it identifies errors and repairs these cell changes. If this system does not work, it is called a defective DNA repair system (dMMR). A defective dMMR system can lead to microsatellite instability (MSI).

Tumors with high microsatellite instability often respond better to certain therapies. An MSI biomarker test can help to identify patients who may respond to such therapy.

How an MSI-H/dMMR biomarker test works

Every cancer is different. To help develop a treatment plan that is right for a patient, the doctor may order laboratory tests. These tests are used to evaluate the tumor for various biomarkers, including MSI-H/dMMR.

  • A tissue sample (biopsy) of the tumor is taken, and the doctor orders the test.
  • The doctor typically gets the results in 2 to 10 days.

Doctor and patient discuss treatment options based on the results and decide which treatment seems most appropriate.

CH-NON-00951, 12/2022

Our team

Volunteering? A point of honor for us at MSD

Did you know that MSD employees can use 40 hours of paid working time each year to volunteer in various projects? Here you can find out how this can look like.

12 October 2022

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Clean-up Days

Clean-Up-Days in Lucerne und Zurich

Every year, our employees support voluntary activities for their communities. The Clean-Up-Days in Lucerne and Zurich, organized together with the IG Sauber Umwelt (IGSU), are an example of such a volunteering opportunity.

Employees from all five MSD Switzerland locations were invited to roll up their sleeves on two days and help to rid the cities of Lucerne and Zurich of waste. A team of over 50 employees gathered to work together for this good cause.

«We have collected over 45 kg of waste, 24 kg of glass, 8.3 kg of aluminum and 3.3 kg of PET bottles. In total more than 80 kg!»

Désirée M., MSD employee at the Citybay location, Lucerne

Clean-up Days
Claen-up Days in Lucerne and Zurich
More than 80 kg of waste collected
MSD employees in action

Why volunteering is important to us at MSD

Volunteering at MSD means get involved for worthy charitable organizations on a voluntary basis during paid working hours. Another possibility is to contribute your professional skills to international projects within the MSD Fellowship for Global Health Programs.

Our volunteer commitment is a sign of solidarity. It aims to promote a culture of social interaction, improve the living conditions of disadvantaged people and benefit the community. Simply put, with our commitment we want to help and give something back to society and our environment. Those who volunteer also take advantage of the opportunity to network with other MSD colleagues and learn or improve skills that are not part of their everyday work routine.

«The Clean-Up-Days were a great experience and an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from other locations.»

Rafael F., MSD employee at The Circle location, Zurich

CH-NON-02013, 12/2022

Responsibility

What we do to support Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. A month dedicated to those affected and to raising public awareness about the causes, early detection and prevention of the disease. Did you know lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide? At MSD, we are committed to fighting lung cancer and improving cancer care. Learn how we support Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

12 October 2022

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Lung cancer awareness

In Switzerland around 4,700 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year and about 3,300 die from it. Almost all new patients are over 50 years of age at the time of diagnosis. Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread. Therefore, they are often diagnosed at a late stage. If the cancer has already spread outside the lungs, the prognosis for patients is very poor. But because of new effective treatments, this is changing. Many people think a lung cancer diagnosis is a death sentence. However, over the past decade, new advancements have been made, which have led to more survivors and more hope for those facing the disease.

At MSD, we show solidarity for those affected and continue to push for progress in cancer care.”

Despite how common lung cancer is, there are still many misconceptions about the disease. That’s why we support various initiatives to raise awareness!

New website for lung cancer patients

Just in time for Lung Cancer Awareness Month we have expanded our patient portal MSD Gesundheit with information about lung cancer.
The new website provides detailed information on the main types of lung cancer, diagnosis and treatment options, answers to the most frequent questions and information on where patients can get advice and support.
In addition, lung cancer patients can download various checklists with questions to help them prepare for their next doctor’s appointment.

Visit the MSD Patient Portal

Collaboration with patient organization “Leben mit Lungenkrebs”

The newly founded patient organization “Leben mit Lungenkrebs” is the first platform exclusively for lung cancer patients and their relatives.
As lung cancer survivor, the co-president of the patient organization knows it from his heart: it helps to talk about lung cancer and break a taboo. Therefore, hosting an afternoon where patients and their families can connect and exchange and have a good time, is one of the first projects the patient organization is developing. We support this event as a co-sponsor.

Find out more

Expo50plus at Zurich main station

“What can you do to stay healthy?” That is the question for visitors at Expo50plus. The fair offers a wide range of information for people over 50, with numerous companies and organizations inviting visitors to find out about various diseases and how to prevent them. As one of the exhibitors, the patient organization “Leben mit Lungenkrebs” draws attention to lung cancer and the importance of prevention and early detection.
We provide educational material to be discussed with interested people at the Expo.

Learn more about Expo50plus and encourage family and friends to go!

Find out more

Facts about lung cancer you really should know

Lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in Switzerland. Around 4,700 people are newly diagnosed with it every year, around 3,300 die of it every year. While anyone can get lung cancer, your risk goes up if you are over 50 years old and currently smoke or smoked in the past. Not smoking is the most important measure to prevent lung cancer.

Lung cancer is not a death sentence. There are several treatment options, but early detection is key and can save lives. If you have an unexplained, persistent cough lasting more than three weeks or shortness of breath, visit your doctor!

About our clinical research in Oncology

Did you know, MSD operates one of largest and fastest growing clinical research programs worldwide? With a focus on immuno-oncology it currently includes more than 1,600 clinical trials. Switzerland is part of this research program. Our team currently coordinates 29 clinical trials in 11 different tumor types (as of 07/2022). MSD is also one of the leading companies in the research of vaccines against preventable diseases, such as cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. In Switzerland, we collaborate with various partners to advance innovative solutions in cancer treatment. In recent years, we have made an important contribution to improving treatment options for cancer patients.

Find out more about our work here.


CH-NON-01949, 10/2022

Our team

In October we support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer in women? At MSD, we show solidarity with those facing breast cancer and do everything we can to support further advances to help fighting the disease. Especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month October we support various activities to educate about the importance of prevention and early detection. Learn more about our commitment.

12 October 2022

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In Switzerland, around 6,300 women and 50 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Although new therapies have improved the prognosis of patients with breast cancer, around 1400 people still die from the disease in Switzerland every year.

“We stand united for the mothers, sisters, daughters and loved ones impacted by breast cancer and do everything we can to drive further innovation to help save and improve lives.”

As with many other cancers, the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of a cure. That’s why we support various initiatives to raise awareness!

Awareness campaign in Baden and Zurich

In October, we support the awareness campaign “Sag Nein zu Brustkrebs, sag Ja zur Früherkennung! ” (Say no to breast cancer, say yes to early detection) in partnership with EUROPA DONNA Switzerland.

On 4 days in October, events will be held in the pink container ”Pink Cube” in Baden and Zurich, where gynecologists will offer free consultations and breast examinations to interested visitors. Everyone is invited to visit the Pink Cube and take advantage of the free consultation and breast examination.

Find out more here

New website for breast cancer patients

Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month October, we have expanded our patient portal MSD Gesundheit with information about breast cancer. The new website provides detailed information about the disease including risks and options for prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

In addition, the website offers answers to the most frequently asked questions about breast cancer and information on where affected people can get advice and support.

Find out more here

Pink Ribbon Charity walk 🎗️

A feelgood moment for our colleagues with more than 50 MSD Switzerland team members taking part in the Pink Ribbon Charity Walk. 

The solidarity walk celebrates survivors, remembers those that we have lost, raises awareness, and much-needed funds to work towards the vision of zero deaths from breast cancer.

Our collective total distance was 208 km! It wasn’t just the Oncology team members, we were there as a cross-functional MSD team showing our joint commitment to fight breast cancer together.

Facts about breast cancer you really should know

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, accounting for nearly one-third of all cancer diagnoses. In Switzerland, about 6,300 women and 50 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and around 1,410 people die from it each year. The rate of disease increases with age. Nevertheless, a quarter of all patients are younger than 50 at the time of diagnosis. Breast self-examination is one of the easiest breast cancer detection methods that every person should do. For women over 50, mammography is recommended to detect breast cancer at an early stage.
The earlier breast cancer is detected and treated, the better the chances of cure. That’s the message we want to get across to everyone!

About our clinical research in Oncology

Did you know, MSD operates one of largest and fastest growing clinical research programs worldwide? With a focus on immuno-oncology it currently includes more than 1,600 clinical trials. Switzerland is part of this research program. Our team currently coordinates 29 clinical trials in 11 different tumor types (as of 07/2022). MSD is also one of the leading companies in the research of vaccines against preventable diseases, such as cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. In Switzerland, we collaborate with various partners to advance innovative solutions in cancer treatment. In recent years, we have made an important contribution to improving treatment options for cancer patients.

Find out more about our work here.


CH-NON-01897, 09/2022

Knowledge

Understanding Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a malignant tumor in the urinary bladder. The most common type of bladder cancer is urothelial carcinoma. Here you can learn more about the symptoms, risk factors and prevention of bladder cancer.

06.07.2022

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Bladder cancer develops when cells of the urinary bladder start to divide and grow more rapidly than usual. As more cancer cells are generated, they form a tumor, which can grow through the layers of the bladder and spread to other areas of the body.  Bladder cancer is one of the most insidious types of cancer, as it is often discovered only by chance and at a stage when it is almost too late for successful treatment. If detected early, bladder cancer has a chance of cure of over 90%. Despite new discoveries and improvements in the care of people with bladder cancer, there’s still a significant need for medical advancement in this area.

Bladder cancer is the 10th most common cancer and the 13th most common cause of cancer death in the world

1’280

Every year, about 1’280 people in Switzerland are diagnosed with bladder cancer and about 570 die of it.

573’000

Around 573’000 new cases of bladder cancer were recorded worldwide in 2020, about 212’000 patients died of it.

Bladder cancer occurs mainly in older adults. Of those affected, about 75% are men and 25% are women.

Signs and Symptoms

Bladder cancer often causes no specific symptoms for a long time. Affected people may experience the following symptoms or signs:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Feeling the need to urinate, even if the bladder isn’t full
  • Having to get up to urinate many times throughout the night
  • Lower back pain on one side of the body

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

One of the main risk factors is smoking. Experts estimate that about 30% to 70% of all bladder cancer cases result from smoking. Smokers are 4 to 7 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than nonsmokers.

Other Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer include:

  • AGE – being older than 65 years
  • GENDER – being male
  • CERTAIN CHEMICALS – frequent and prolonged contact
  • CHEMOTHERAPY/RADIOTHERAPY in the pelvic area
  • CHRONIC CYSTITIS – inflammation of the bladder
  • MEDICAL HISTORY – higher risk if someone has already had bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer treatment

There are several options for the treatment of bladder cancer:

  • Local surgical therapy
  • Local drug therapy
  • Surgical removal of the bladder, called cystectomy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Systemic drug therapy: chemotherapy or immunotherapy

If metastases have already formed, the prognosis for a permanent cure is unfavorable in most cases. However, the progression of the disease can be delayed.

Prevention of Bladder Cancer

There is no guarantee to prevent bladder cancer. But there are some factors that can help lower the risk.

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Limit exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace.
  • Drink plenty of liquids! Drinking a lot of fluids – mainly water – might lower the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

CH-NON-00572, 07/2022

Care

Survey on cancer care in Switzerland: Good ratings—But some work to do

19. Mai 2022

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Cancers pose a major challenge not only for those affected but also for the health care system. MSD has worked with the research institute gfs.bern to create a representative survey, the first of its kind, to take a detailed look at public opinion regarding the quality of cancer care in Switzerland. The survey showed that there is clearly broad approval of the care currently being offered, but did, however, identify opportunities for improvement in pre- and post-treatment care.  

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (2021), there are more than 40,000 new cancer diagnoses in Switzerland each year, with one in five people falling ill with cancer before the age of 701. The good news: New cases do appear to be leveling off somewhat 1. Moreover, fewer people are dying from cancers than before1. Accordingly, there is an increasing number of people in Switzerland who are either living with cancer or have beaten it. They should all be receiving the best possible care. Apart from the actual medical treatment they receive, this care also includes preventive and follow-up care, as well as social and psychological support. A wide-ranging representative survey commissioned by MSD and conducted by gfs.bern aimed to find out how the Swiss public perceives the quality of cancer care.

Good Ratings for Cancer Patient Care

First of all, the Swiss public takes an active interest in health care policy. For example, over 80 percent of those surveyed said that they were interested in health care issues. Almost 90 percent viewed the quality of the care provided to cancer patients as either good, very good, or excellent. This positive endorsement was even clearer among those personally affected by cancer, with an approval rating of 95 percent. The personal experiences of those receiving treatment for their disease underline the value of this extraordinarily good rating. The key factors were primarily the good health care system in Switzerland, the broad range of services offered, the good care provided by staff, the quality of the facilities, access to treatment, and the ease of information sharing. Survey respondents rated their hospital experiences particularly highly. Thus, about 80 percent of survey subjects expressed a favorable opinion regarding the care provided by doctors and nurses in hospitals, while a substantial majority were also satisfied with the medications used for treatment. Only a few respondents found fault with the treatments provided or the quality of care. The overwhelming majority (85%) would choose their selected treatment pathway again.

Action Required on Cancer Prevention and Early Diagnosis

However, the survey also clearly shows that some areas require further action. Of all those surveyed, about 15 percent were dissatisfied with early cancer detection, with the same percentage dissatisfied with cancer prevention and coordination. One in five would have been happy to see family members acting as caregivers receive better support. Nearly one quarter of all respondents could also conceive that psychological support for patients and their families could be better. Among those personally impacted by cancer, the number who would have liked earlier information about prevention was as high as 36 percent. About half of them were unhappy about the time of diagnosis. Thus, 47 percent would have been happier if their cancer had been detected earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic also left its mark. For example, treatments constantly needed to be postponed. While almost half of patients were satisfied with the services provided by the specialists treating them, some family members felt that adequate medical care was lacking during the pandemic.

Conversely, the considerable efforts undertaken to research cancer were appreciated by the Swiss public. In the survey, a clear majority of 57 percent had faith in the progress being made in cancer research over the past five years (often, however, without being able to describe this progress in more detail), while only a quarter of those surveyed believed that there had been no or hardly any scientific discoveries recently. Over half of respondents were also optimistic about cancers being completely curable in the future.

Calls for a New Cancer Strategy

Only a few of those surveyed were aware of the “National Anti-Cancer Strategy,” including those who were affected by cancer themselves. Having been told about it, most did, however, state that a new national cancer initiative was important to them. Switzerland is currently the only European country without a national cancer strategy. Seventy-two percent of the respondents would participate in any possible consultations about this kind of legal initiative. A new national cancer initiative could count on a high level of approval, especially among women, people with a strong interest in health policy, and those personally affected by cancer. Almost all of those surveyed believed that a cancer initiative could save money in the long term and that early cancer detection and prevention should be supported, but also that coordination between the actors involved and the care provided to those affected by cancer are in need of improvement. However, most respondents did not believe that cancer had any special role in comparison to the many other serious illnesses that affect people. Thus, according to the majority of those surveyed, cancers should not be given any special status in the constitution.

The Survey

The representative survey on cancer patient care in Switzerland was commissioned by MSD and conducted by gfs.bern and involved the detailed questioning of 1,510 randomly selected people throughout Switzerland via an online questionnaire or telephone interview at the end of last year (November/December 2021). Three quarters of subjects reported that a person close to them, or at least an acquaintance, had been or was currently affected by cancer. In total, eleven percent (136 people) had had personal experience with cancer themselves, while three percent were suffering from cancer at the time of the survey. The patients had undergone surgery (76%), or had received chemotherapy (32%), radiation therapy (29%), targeted therapy (18%), hormone therapy (15%), alternative therapy (14%), or immunotherapy (11%). Nine out of ten sufferers reported that they had generally complied with the treatment requirements.

Download Report

https://www.gfsbern.ch/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/213064_bericht_msd_krebsversorgungsmonitor_def_v4.pdf

Knowledge

Understanding Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a collective term for various cancers of the kidney. The most common is renal cell carcinoma.

12. April 2022

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Every year, around 1000 people in Switzerland are newly diagnosed with kidney cancer. About two thirds of them are men. Almost half of the patients are over 70 years old at the time of diagnosis. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer, accounting for about 90% of all kidney cancer cases. It is typically diagnosed by accident, for example during imaging tests for another disease, as symptoms usually only appear at an advanced stage. Most kidney tumors are discovered in their early stages. Nevertheless, around 30% of patients present with metastatic kidney cancer at the time of initial diagnosis. Of these patients, only 15% are still alive after 5 years. Thanks to recent advances in oncology, the treatment options for renal cell carcinoma have changed significantly. Today several treatment options are available to increase the survival rate of these patients.

Incidence of kidney cancer

1’000

In Switzerland, around 700 men and 300 women are newly diagnosed with kidney cancer and about 300 people die of it every year.

430’000

Worldwide, more than 430’000 new cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed and nearly 180’000 people died of it in 2020.

Signs and symptoms

Early kidney cancers usually do not cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might.

Some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer include:

  • blood in the urine
  • low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
  • a mass (lump) on the side or lower back
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss not caused by dieting
  • fever that is not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
  • anemia (low red blood cell counts).

Risk Factors

Multiple risk factors for RCC have been identified. It is believed that several factors are jointly responsible for the development of kidney cancer. Smoking and obesity are considered to be possible main risk factors.

Other risk factors include:

  • high blood pressure
  • family history of kidney cancer
  • workplace exposures: many studies have suggested that workplace exposure to certain substances, such as trichloroethylene , increases the risk for RCC.
  • gender (men are more likely affected than women)
  • certain medicines: some studies have suggested that acetaminophen, a common pain medicine, may be linked to an increase in the risk of RCC.
  • genetic and hereditary risk factors

Prevention

In many cases, the cause of kidney cancer is not known. In some other cases (such as with inherited conditions), even when the cause is known it may not be preventable. You may reduce the risk for developing kidney cancer by stopping to smoke and maintaining a healthy body weight.

CH-NON-00633, 04/2022

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Our commitment

Pulmonary hypertension

Every single life motivates us, day after day, to give our best.

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare chronic disease that can be life-threatening if left untreated. At MSD, we are committed to people who are affected by this disease.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic disease characterised by increased blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation. It may lead to a significant impairment of physical capacity and can be life-threatening if left untreated. There are various treatment options that aim to alleviate symptoms, stop progression of the disease and maintain the highest possible quality of life.

Find out more

Our commitment in the area of pulmonary hypertension

For over
5

years committed to improving the lives of patients in Switzerland

In the year
2013

introduction of the first soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator for PH in Switzerland

Active since
2016

in longstanding partnerships and projects

Our partnerships and projects

Collaboration with the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pulmonale Hypertonie [Swiss Society for Pulmonary Hypertension] (SGPH)

The SGPH is panel of experts that for more than 20 years has bundled all findings about pulmonary hypertension into one efficient network. We have supported the SGPH for years in different projects and initiatives.

Cooperation with patient organisations

We have been involved for years in collaborative partnerships with patient organisations and the Swiss PH Society for people with pulmonary hypertension.

Continuing education events and conferences

MSD regularly takes part in the conference of the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pneumologie [Swiss Society for Pulmonology] (SGP) and supports continuing education events for physicians in order to help clarify pulmonary hypertension and its treatment.

Clinical Research

For almost 130 years, we have conducted research worldwide to contribute to better health for our society with our medications and vaccines, for today and future generations. In Switzerland, MSD is currently conducting 34 clinical studies in different areas of therapy (as of 11/2021).

Find out more

Information and education

Especially in November, during Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, and on 5 May, World Pulmonary Hypertension Day, we raise awareness of the disease and the importance of early detection among the general public.

frau lächelt in die kamera

"The sooner pulmonary hypertension is diagnosed and treated, the sooner a patient can benefit from an improvement in the quality of his or her life. With our commitment, we wish to contribute to the clarification and early detection of the disease".

Claudia Kimmich

Senior Customer Engagement Specialist Pulmonary Hypertension, MSD Schweiz

CH-NON-01417, 10/2021

Knowledge

What is pulmonary hypertension?

Shortness of breath, tiring more quickly and reduced capacity are amongst the early signs of pulmonary hypertension. Learn more about this rare chronic disease.

15.11.2021

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glückliches paar am see

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic pathological increase in blood pressure in the pulmonary vessels that can result in a significant impairment of physical capacity. Due to its unspecific symptoms, it is often difficult to detect pulmonary hypertension. If it is not treated, it can be life-threatening.

Pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease

According to estimates, 125-425 people in Switzerland are affected by it and 8-25 new cases of the disease occur annually in Switzerland.

Diagnosing pulmonary hypertension is not easy

The complaints are at first often mild and may also indicate other diseases such as asthma, bronchitis or chronic fatigue syndrome. That is why it can take on average up to 2.5 years to make a diagnosis. This is valuable time in which the patient is not receiving any effective therapy.

The initial symptoms of pulmonary hypertension may include:

  • Shortness of breath during physical exertion such as when climbing or going up stairs
  • Increased fatiguability
  • Feeling of tightness in chest
  • Heart palpitations, faster heartbeat
  • Dizziness during intense physical exertion
  • Reduced capacity

In an advanced stage, these complaints may occur:

  • Signs of a decreasing pumping power of the right heart, such as water accumulations in the legs (oedema) and distended jugular veins
  • Intense chest pain, as in a heart attack
  • Blue lips as a sign of reduced oxygen supply to the body, low or falling blood pressure readings in the systemic circulation

Treatment of pulmonary hypertension is done by a team of specialists

Only specialists with extensive experience can treat pulmonary hypertension because the therapy is complex and must be individually adapted to each patient based on the causes and symptoms. Therefore, it is important that those affected be treated in a specialised centre for pulmonary hypertension.

In Switzerland there are several specialised centres for pulmonary hypertension, so-called PH centres

In a PH centre, experts from different medical specialties collaborate in an interdisciplinary manner to enable patients with pulmonary hypertension to receive the therapy that gives them the greatest possible quality of life. The specialists are able to detect, diagnose and treat pulmonary hypertension. Moreover, PH centres are established for emergencies and offer those affected round the clock support.

Overview of PH centres in Switzerland

woman holds her hand over her heart

Our commitment

The sooner pulmonary hypertension is diagnosed and treated, the sooner a patient can benefit from an improvement in the quality of his or her life. With our commitment, we wish to contribute to the clarification and early detection of the disease.

members of the SGPH standing on the maedow

Support for patients

The Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pulmonale Hypertonie SGPH [Swiss Society for Pulmonary Hypertension, SGPH] is a panel of experts and is available as a reference centre on the subject of pulmonary hypertension for physicians and patients.

CH-NON-01409, 10/2021