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"Roche really do a lot for their employees"

Scientific work, international teams and a specific benefit for patients – this is what Dr. Evelyn Stuwe likes about her work as HTA Manager at Roche. Apart from this she also reveals in the interview why one has very good career opportunities in her occupation.

Which tasks do you have at Roche in the organisation of "Market Access"?

In Germany every medicinal product that newly comes onto the market goes through a so-called benefit assessment procedure. The procedure is divided into two steps: in the first part, an independent institute named IQWIG assesses the medicinal product and subsequent to this the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) then issues an assessment of the additional benefit. In the second step, the price is negotiated with the leading association of the statutory health insurance providers based on the assessment through the G-BA. As soon as a medicinal product receives marketing authorization it is available in Germany for patients. During the first year, the price structure is freely defined, from the second year onwards the price then applies that the company has negotiated with the health insurance providers.

As HTA Manager I am responsible for preparing a dossier, in which with the help of the medical data I present the additional benefit of the medicinal product in a good and substantiated way. For this, I for example utilize data from clinical studies. At present, I am working on a medicinal product for lung cancer. It takes roughly one and a half years to prepare such a dossier.

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e-fellows.net-Alumna Dr. Evelyn Stuwe (34) studied pharmaceutics at Heidelberg University and completed her doctorate in Pasadena (USA) at the California Institute of Technology. Since January 2016 she is working at Roche as HTA (Health Technology Assessment) & Value Strategy Manager.

How exactly do you proceed when preparing the dossier?

Right at the beginning there is always the systematic data research, where I collect all the available and relevant information. Subsequent to this I start developing the dossier. For this I work together with statisticians and epidemiologists at Roche, with market research, the marketing authorization department, the team for drug safety and the Medical Management. I need understand the disease very well to be able to represent all relevant aspects of the medicinal product. This, for example, includes the mode of action, the number of patients that can be treated with the medicinal product, the results of the clinical studies and an evaluation of the additional benefit.

What do you find especially exciting in "Market Access"?

This is an ideal position for us widely trained pharmacists. I am involved with scientific studies but am also involved with the patients and the everyday medical routine because I must take many perspectives into account. Apart from this I am involved in international teams and am a member of the global Market Access Team, with which I engage in much exchange. There is also the possibility of spending some time abroad. I find it exciting that I can still work scientifically, but not in the academic research but in relation to a real medicinal product with specific benefit for the patient. Not lastly as HTA Manager one has very good career opportunities because it is a very important position that receives much attention in the company.

How does the cooperation with other departments operate at Roche?

As HTA Manager one has many points of contact with the various departments. I lead a cross-functional project team comprising of colleagues from Medical Management, pharmacovigilance, marketing authorization and epidemiology who help me in the preparation of the dossier. In cross-area teams we also consider the marketing and distribution for the new medicinal product. How do we train the field staff? What has been presented at medical congresses? What are the competitors doing? As HTA Manager I provide important information in these cases and at the same time, I can learn a lot.

What do you like about your employer Roche?

Roche is a very employee-friendly company that really does a lot for the employees. It is really great here, especially in relation to flexible working models and working hours. I can, for example, work a lot at the home office and organize my work myself. Much trust is invested in us. And the job orientation is also very well organized: There is a start week where every employee is specifically introduced to the work, gets to meet the colleagues and for example visits the main headquarters of the company in Basel. Apart from this during the first six months, one can live in the guest house free of charge. Roche has a great interest in the development of every individual employee – this is really good because I know that I have excellent opportunities here.

Which further training offers can you utilize?

There are so-called onboardings, where employees from different departments explain what happens in their department. This is really helpful, especially for the young starting professionals. Apart from this Roche has a large offering of further training courses, and for this the company also cooperates with external providers: professional further training measures, language courses, soft-skill workshops and much more. Apart from this, we as employees can also make suggestions if we want to attend conferences or congresses. For example, when I started at Roche I participated in a block workshop in clinical epidemiology at the university because I did not have any previous experience in this area.

What career perspectives are offered by Roche?

As an employee in Market Access I have very good development opportunities, as I am well networked and receive insight in many areas. So in this respect I can develop further in the company in many directions.

Apart from this at Roche there is also always the possibility of going abroad for a short or long-term stay because we are a global corporation. Many managers at Roche have spent time abroad: You can notice this in their attitude. They have looked beyond the tips of their noses and have a correspondingly open attitude.

When you started your career were there any surprises or funny circumstances?

During the first week all new starters went around together: It's little like with a school class. We were all immediately on a first-name basis. So during a joint evening meal I asked the colleague next to me: "And what is it that you do?" But she was not however a young starting professional, but answered: "I have been here now since 12 years and manage a Germany wide field staff team." But the nice thing at Roche is that we were able to laugh about this together that I had seen her as being one of the new starters – because the atmosphere is really very friendly here.

September 2018
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Tags: Germany, Career Blog