Roche grew 27 percent due to city hospitals

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - HUSNIYE GUNGOR

Roche Global CEO Severin Schwan has announced that the company increased its group sales by 7 percent in 2018 and generated 56.8 billion Swiss francs in sales revenue. The global drugs giant shared its financial results with the media on January 31, 2018, one day after its competitor Novartis in Basel, where the two compete not only for market share but in the physical size and style of their headquarte­rs. According to Schwan, the company’s net income increased by 24 percent to 10.8 billion Swiss francs.

Following the press conference, Roche Diagnostic­s CEO, Michael Heuer, said that they are evaluating the city hospitals in Turkey as a major opportunit­y to maintain and develop their leading position in the market and they had taken serious steps in this regard. Speaking exclusivel­y to DUNYA Executive, Heuer said that Roche Diagnostic­s grew by 27 percent in Turkey while global growth was 7 percent. “We have managed to become a partner of five PPP city hospital projects in Kayseri, Manisa, Konya, Bursa and Sanliurfa. The laboratory installati­on in Kayseri and Manisa city hospitals were completed in 2018. We will continue to work with Konya and Bursa City Hospitals this year,” he said. Bursa City Hospital is planned to be opened in the second quarter of the year and Konya City Hospital will be opened in the fourth quarter. Roche Diagnostic­s will complete the laboratory in- stallation processes for both hospitals this year and start the preparatio­ns for the Sanliurfa City Hospital, with a planned opening date sometime in 2020.

According to Schwan, Roche Pharmaceut­icals’ sales revenue increased by 7 percent in Swiss francs. The growth was mainly due to the increase in the sale of drugs such as Ocrevus (MS), Perjeta (breast cancer), Tecentriq (advanced bladder and lung cancer), Alecensa (lung cancer) and Hemlibra (hemophilia). Schwan said that the decline in the European market, where competitio­n for biosimilar and best-selling pharmaceut­icals is high, has been compensate­d strong sales in the U.S.

Roche recently acquired Flatiron Health, which analyzes the electronic health records with big data, and Foundation Medicine, which makes genomic profiling of cancer. Schwan summarized the company’s purchase strategy as such: “Many great science is within Roche, but 99 percent is happening outside Roche.” They will follow up the good ideas and continue to incorporat­e them into the company through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitio­ns, he added.

“Genom c tests are expens ve even for the Sw ss”

Foundation Medicine’s profiling tests, which examine 314 mutations that may occur in cancer tumors and offer a personaliz­ed treatment map for both the doctor and the patient, have also been available in Turkey for two years. However, as Schwan points out, these expensive tests are not accessible to many patients because they are not fully covered by the health system. “People are struggling to bear the cost of these tests even in a rich country like Switzerlan­d,” said Schwan, adding that they carry out meetings with insurance companies and state authoritie­s to press for these tests to be made available in the social security system.

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