MSD is one of the world's most innovative companies. How does this affect your operations in Poland? Does your company also research innovative drugs here?
Each year MSD invests USD 13.6 billion in the research and development of innovative drugs and vaccines. For MSD, Poland is one of the most important countries in terms of clinical trials. In Poland, we are running more than 100 trials and cooperating with 400 research centres with the involvement of nearly 3,000 patients. Poland is a major link in our research and development process.
How does the result of this research affect the Polish economy?
Each year we invest more than PLN 120 million in research conducted here. Our impact on the economy is significant and the investment projects we undertake in Poland are extensive.
MSD has been operating in Poland for 30 years, but you have been here for less than a year. How do you view the company's situation?
It is remarkable how our presence in Poland has strengthened over 30 years. When we started, the Polish branch employed a total of 12 people. Fast forward 30 years and we are working to promote health along with 1,000 specialists in Poland. From my perspective, this was a challenging year. Having to move to a new country on the one hand and your company addressing global health care challenges on the other. I am impressed with the staff, their dedication, their focus on patients, and their support for the health care system. I am confident that we can continue to provide innovative vaccines and medicines to people in Poland who need them. I look to the future with great optimism. The dedication and passion of the employees are what drives me.
The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges in recent years. How has this affected both the whole industry and the company itself?
The pandemic has greatly affected the industry. In terms of business aspects, we had to adapt to a brand new reality. At first, we reprioritised to meet new challenges. We tried to support patients and doctors in every way possible. From a global perspective, the response was very quick. As a global organisation, MSD has invested significant resources in drug and vaccine research and development. We now focus on research on what could prove to be the first medicine to treat the coronavirus. We are currently in phase 3 clinical trials. Part of this research is conducted in Poland.
Do you see any systemic changes that could improve your company's innovative business in Poland?
In terms of health care investment, Poland does not fare well compared to other countries in Europe. It is necessary to start from the bottom up and ensure that health care investments as a percentage of GDP are increased. Ensuring patient access to innovative therapies and vaccines should be a priority. The need for hospitalisation and the length of hospital stay should be minimised while procedures should be simplified.
This will make people healthier, which has a positive impact on both the economy and health care.
What is your opinion about the Karpacz Economic Forum? Will the discussions taking place here have a positive impact on the quality of Polish health care?
This is a major event and a very constructive forum for exchanging ideas and lessons learned. There are always interesting and inspiring discussions to be had when you can meet so many key partners in one place. The Economic Forum allows us to discuss the future and develop new strategies. Whenever there is dialogue, positive effects are bound to follow. Ultimately, the priority is the patients and their well-being. With this in mind, our discussions will change the surrounding reality.
During the Karpacz meeting, MSD has been awarded the Economic Forum prize. What does this mean for the company?
We have received this award in recognition of our commitment to health care over the 30 years of MSD's operations in Poland. It is a great honour. MSD Poland has also gained the status of a research and development centre by the decision of the Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Technology. This shows just how much emphasis we put on research and innovation in Poland.
Developed in cooperation with MSD as part of "Rzeczpospolita" daily's social campaign titled #breathe