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Georg Schroeckenfuchs President Middle East & Head MEA Cluster, Novartis

UAE - Health & Education

Georg Schroeckenfuchs

President Middle East & Head MEA Cluster, Novartis

Bio

Georg Schroeckenfuchs is the President & Head MEA Cluster at Novartis. Prior to his current appointment, he served as CPO Head & country president of Italy for four years. From 2012-2013, he was CPO head & country president for Greece. Before joining Novartis in 2001, he was marketing director and a member of the management board at GSK Austria. Prior to this role, he was director of the neurology and respiratory business unit. He has a degree in marketing and sales from Vienna University of economics and business.

"We want to change our business model and digitalize. We need to make sure our products get further supplied and also launch innovations to support healthcare systems."
In the UAE, Novartis plans to position itself as a talent incubator and exporter of talents while helping to achieve better healthcare outcomes in the country.
How are you using technology to improve your business?

One of our core activities is R&D, and research has been highly digitalized for many years. Before the pandemic, our business model was based on face-to-face interactions with our key customers and stakeholders, so there was a big shift. In the countries where the pandemic is more under control, like in the UAE, there is a combination of face-to-face interactions and virtual activities. There are many activities that accelerate communication across the world, and it especially helps science-based organizations learn faster from each other. I was impressed by how much the government is interested in driving innovation, making sure it creates an environment where people are satisfied, and finding new technologies and solutions to support them. Regarding innovation in our medicines, the UAE is the second-fastest area for getting registrations, after the US. In the UAE, usually we can try new things because the risk for our organization is different. We can try new partnership models with the government, and there are different support systems that can help organizations learn faster in early launches. The objective is to create more sustainable systems with the governments. The interests of the pharmaceutical industry are changing; it is no longer sustainable to just sell a box of medicine at a certain price, because innovations are becoming more personalized in the future.

After the pandemic, the UAE realized it needed more security to have more local production. What is your opinion on that?

We are working with HA to enhance local manufacturing steps since we are already working on the second brand concept, which is one part of the local manufacturing. I can understand the need for the UAE and other countries to have self-dependency. One of the issues is that producing everything in each country is not possible. Sometimes, local production is not the final solution because you need ingredients before you produce locally, so you would need to also produce the ingredients. You need to partner with the government to make sure you have the right stock levels in place and increase their minimum stock levels to make sure there are no shortages.

Where does Novartis stand on preventative healthcare, and what further improvement could be done in this space?

Prevention will be more important in the future to keep society healthy. We are working with the health authorities to analyze the existing data. We want to prevent disease and, when it comes to chronic diseases, prevent further deterioration. We deliver education programs to healthcare providers to ensure patients adhere to their treatments. We have home assistance and patient education programs in place to support patients through their journeys.

What are your main priorities for the next six months?

We will have many innovative medicines, and we want to make these medicines as available as quickly as possible. We want to partner with the health authorities on disruptive access models to reach twice as many patients twice as quickly to create a joint approach to ensure in certain disease areas patients can have access to medicine and receive the right education support to deal with their conditions. We would like to position ourselves as a talent incubator and exporter of talents in our organization. We want to partner with healthcare systems to create a joint vision to achieve better outcomes and to create sustainability in all levels. One ecosystem does not work without the other. We need to communicate to create sustainability. We want to change our business model and digitalize. We need to make sure our products get further supplied and also launch innovations to support healthcare systems.

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