AT THE FOREFRONT OF IMPROVING PATIENT CARE IN THE NORDICS
Merz Therapeutics expands its operations to Sweden, Norway and Denmark by establishing its own affiliate in the Nordics. In this interview, Stefan König, CEO of Merz Therapeutics, and Christian Feinberg, Country Manager Nordics Merz Therapeutics, answer a few questions about the decision itself, about their visions for the future, and about what Nordic patients can expect.
Merz Therapeutics expands into the Nordics – What opportunities are you most excited about?
Christian Feinberg: What stands out to me are the opportunities to really understand our customer and patient needs and how we as an organization can deliver solutions for them locally and globally. This will have to start with a lot of external dialogue where we listen to our various local stakeholders. We will invest in those opportunities that provide the highest impact, and we will be bold in implementing and testing new activities that can add value in the Nordics and potentially in other parts of the Merz Therapeutics organization.
Stefan König: It will be great to better establish and anchor Merz Therapeutics in the Nordic market and build our presence there. This is a strategic step for us, which, as Christian said, will make it possible to serve our Nordic patients even better and make a positive impact.
Have you defined any milestones for the first 12 months?
Christian Feinberg: The first step is to obtain a full operating license with effective logistics and all necessary internal processes in place. We want to be fully staffed with a high-caliber team of colleagues from different backgrounds who work on a daily basis with an external focus and bring different perspectives to the table. We want to establish strong partnerships and activities with our most important Nordic customers, have an omnichannel strategy in place as well as digital activities that are of value to our patients.
Merz Therapeutics Nordics’ inclusion in our affiliate network in Europe marks a significant milestone. How does this strategic move contribute to the overall expansion of the Merz Therapeutics business?
Stefan König: Merz Therapeutics is a young business within the Merz Group with only three years of age. We are committed to geographic expansion in areas where patients need our support the most and where we can effectively meet market demands. As a rapidly growing business, you will see Merz Therapeutics expanding globally, and naturally, the well-developed Nordic region serves as a crucial steppingstone for implementing best practices and attracting top talent. The mature healthcare systems in Scandinavia have a reputation for patient-centricity, innovation and advanced health economics, in addition to world-class research institutions like, for example, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. I envision the Nordics as an important growth pillar enhancing the Merz Therapeutics value capture where ideas come from, talent is being sourced and patient-centric innovation happens.
How do you see the Nordics market evolving over the next few years, and what role do you see Merz Therapeutics playing in shaping this evolution?
Stefan König: People living with spasticity around the globe are not well served and the number of individuals treated is in the single digits, depending on the specific movement disorder. That is why we want to be at the forefront of improving patient care in the Nordic countries and helping to train healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care. Christian, you bring in a lot of local knowledge – please add anything I might have not yet mentioned.
Christian Feinberg: There is a lot of remaining potential for spasticity treatment, especially in Sweden where several regions and hospitals are behind in terms of patient management. There is also a significant shortage of injectors across all Nordic markets. Merz Therapeutics Nordics will play a crucial role in improving access to treatment options through collaborations and partnerships. We want to become a “go-to organization” that co-creates and implements solutions that provide a triple-win situation for patients, health care and Merz Therapeutics.
What is your long-term vision for the Nordic markets?
Stefan König: I envision this as an important growth pillar where ideas come from, talent is being sourced and patient-centric innovation happens.
Christian Feinberg: We want to be the preferred partner for our key external stakeholders with a daily focus on delivering better outcomes for more patients through a range of different partnerships and activities. This will only be possible if we also build a workplace that allows each colleague to fully exploit their capabilities.
Compared to other markets, are there any particularities you plan to address to best meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals in the Nordics to further deliver on Merz Therapeutics’ purpose of “better outcomes for more patients”?
Christian Feinberg: There is a high digital maturity in both healthcare and amongst patients in the Nordics, and I think we at Merz Therapeutics Nordics should explore that. I see many potential omnichannel opportunities and partnerships that could lead to better outcomes for more patients.