Providing medical solutions that improve people’s quality of life on a daily basis, while also constantly working on the innovations of the future – this dual mission of the Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche is also the driving force for the management and staff of the Hungarian subsidiary established back in 1984.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Combining their strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, Roche says it is uniquely positioned to make Personalized Health Care (PHC) a reality.
The company has been present in Hungary for over 35 years to get Roche's most innovative medicines to the Hungarian patients, contributing to the treatment of the patients with 74 therapies. It currently has four divisions in the country: Pharmaceutical, Diagnostics and Diabetes Care as well as the Roche Services & Solutions Operations (RSS). The RSS is a place full of courageous, interesting and diverse talents. It can help to contribute to a higher purpose – both from a personal and from a global perspective – by complying with the slogan ’Doing now what patients need next’. In 2019, Roche Hungary, which now employs over a thousand people, was also selected for the venue of the European Center for The Safety of Medicinal Products.
These facts show that Roche is an established and important contributor to the Hungarian economy. According to the latest figures available, Roche Hungary invested almost three quarters (74%) of their domestic revenue back into the country, thus, bringing their total contribution to Hungary’s gross domestic product to HUF 20.6 billion, i.e. 0.04% of the total GDP.In 2019, Roche involved 720 Hungarian patients in clinical trials across 117 sites, conducting, in total, 64 research studies across six therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology/inflammatory disease, neurology/psychiatry, pulmonology, hematology/nephrology, and ophthalmology. The majority of the trials are still related to oncology, but the firm launching more and more in neurology and ophthalmology as well. Most importantly, Roche Hungary made payments totaling to HUF 1.6 billion (CHF 5.6 million) and saved HUF 4.4 billion (CHF 15.1 million) for the Hungarian drug budget.
PV HUB Budapest
Roche’s latest investment project in Hungary is the European pharmacovigilance hub. The PV HUB Budapest, which started operation in September 2019, is tasked with processing the side effect reports submitted from 23 European Union countries and six from the Balkan Peninsula. This global unit creates new highly-skilled workforces and plays a critical role in ensuring drug safety across Europe. The team plays a crucial role in capturing and analyzing data from real world usage and clinical trials. The continuous monitoring and reporting of side effects is required by law, and facilitates the safe use of pharmaceuticals.
Healthcare solution company
Roche is not a simple pharmaceutical company but one full of forward-looking solutions. One of these solutions is personalized healthcare. Despite the fact that human beings differ from each other in many ways, including illnesses, healthcare tends to treat diseases, symptoms or reasons rather than individual patient cases.
While scientists know human biology and diseases better than ever before, the usual routine and patterns of healthcare are still predominant as of 2020. Personalized healthcare is aimed at leaving behind this approach keeping in mind that every patient is unique. When asking themselves the question how they can reform the healthcare system for the benefit of future generations, professionals at Roche believe that personalized healthcare can be more efficient, and make health care systems sustainable in the face of rising costs.
This requires development and digitization of healthcare systems, sharing and processing the data collected on different platforms, and integrating real world evidence data into clinical trials. Personalized healthcare should be implemented all along the patient pathway, from early precision diagnostics to personalized therapy planning and complex patient management. Roche wishes to make personalized healthcare widely available for Hungarian patients, therefore since the launch of FoundationOne service in Hungary it gave the opportunity of tailored treatment proposals for almost 300 patients based on genomic profiling.
The most important task of Roche’s diagnostics business is to develop, optimize, maintain and service in vitro laboratory processes in the healthcare system, scientific research and education.
This includes laboratories of pathology institutes supporting oncology treatments; central laboratories for supplying hospitals, including support for diagnostic solutions within the departments; and diagnostic devices used in primary care, outpatient clinics and ambulances. In the partner laboratories 43,000 tests are carried out daily using Roche solutions. This equates to 16 million tests annually. Some 70% of the pathology laboratories supporting oncology care in the country use Roche histological diagnostics solution. On average, Roche diagnostics staff spend over 100 hours a week in our partner laboratories on maintenance and servicing, setting up and consulting.
Another great example can be found in Roche Diabetes Care, which – for over 40 years and with its Accu-Chek brand – has been dedicated to enabling people with diabetes to live life as normal and active as possible, as well as empowering healthcare professionals to optimally manage their patients’ condition.
The current Accu-Chek portfolio offers people with diabetes and healthcare professionals innovative products and impactful solutions for convenient, efficient and effective diabetes management. This includes blood glucose meters, lancing devices, insulin delivery systems, and digital solutions for data management, advice, coaching and education.
The company is looking for opportunities to continuously improve and innovate their portfolio in order to further improve medical outcome and the quality of life of people with diabetes. The areas of focus include forming collaborations on solutions that accelerate and enhance the portfolio of glucose monitoring technologies and insulin delivery systems; and services and solutions that enable digital diabetes management.
All this is well summarized by Roche Hungary’s mission statement: Close the gap between the Hungarian and European patients’ outcomes by building partnerships with Hungarian patients and the healthcare system’s stakeholders, utilizing Roche’s portfolio and beyond.