Meet Axel, Senior Industry & Portfolio Insights Manager
Hi, my name is…
…Axel. I am German and have been with Roche since January 2008. Before then, I worked for eight years in Frankfurt for an information provider and consultancy to the pharmaceutical industry. I wanted to switch sides (from provider to client), work on a global level, and broaden my access to information sources. Nine years later, all boxes are ticked, and many more. My academic background in medicine, informatics, statistics, and documentation at the University of Ulm paved the way for both jobs, qualifying me to work anywhere in the healthcare industry that generates lots of data requiring processing and interpretation.
My typical day at work is…
…unpredictable. With numerous, highly diverse stakeholders, one never knows what e-mails or calls to expect when getting up in the morning. I work for a unit called Industry Analytics within Roche’s global pharma marketing team. Its key responsibilities are twofold: insourcing a portfolio of key information sources on the pharmaceutical market, and utilizing these sources to reflect on the markets’ top-line status and Roche’s positioning. Four key stakeholders come into play: 1) the information provider industry, where experience from my former job is a great help; 2) users of the currently insourced information tools at Roche; 3) analytics agencies we manage for support of the broader market research department; 4) my dedicated, long-term, internal stakeholders within Roche, with whom I work on industry-level projects, such as Public Affairs, Pricing & Market Access, Neuroscience & Rare Diseases teams, and Real World Data Science.
The location I am working at is…
…“B1”. This stands for “Building 1”, Roche’s new high-rise office building at its headquarters in Basel. The tallest office building in Switzerland, Building 1 will soon be surpassed by another Roche building, which will be erected next to it. I commute to work by Basel’s very good public transportation system. It takes me exactly 11 minutes to get to work – which always amazes colleagues from Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York, or Shanghai, where commutes generally take much longer.
My work helps Roche to…
…keep in touch with reality. In Marketing especially, we sometimes tend to get carried away by our own positive messages. Regularly reviewing external views, opinions, actions, facts, and forecasts can be a very useful reality check and help us re-focus on remaining challenges. Besides industry-level and cross-portfolio analyses, the information from our sources is used by pretty much every brand team to ensure that - by taking into account primarily what patients need, and also what the market is doing - we have clearly differentiated, viable assets.
Roche as an employer is…
…rational and stable, for several reasons: it is a family-owned company with a focus on science and patients, successful in developing long-standing blockbusters. With biosimilars for these top drugs on the horizon, one can most certainly trust that Roche’s values of Courage, Integrity and Passion will steer Roche successfully through this rougher sea of fiercer competition.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Of having provided a quarterly 360° review of the pharma market for many years, informing many decision makers across the Roche organization.
Additionally, of having established real world data in our department years before it became a catchphrase.
What has been your biggest opportunity to date within Roche?
Of all the opportunities I have had, I would pick the several business trips to India, which fostered my understanding of market access (pricing and reimbursement as well as infrastructure) from an emerging market point of view.
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