“We go beyond therapies to improve patient care”
Rich Burkett has held a number of management positions in his 10-year career at EMD Serono, but his starting job as a sales representative was one of the most formative experiences and remains a touchstone for evaluating new sales and marketing initiatives.
“One of the big advantages of working in the field forces is the face-to-face contact with physicians,” he underlines. “You learn very quickly what motivates doctors and how you can meet patients’ needs. Over time you build up a foundation of trust based on the common goal of improving patient care.”
In his current position as Director of Marketing for Endocrinology, Rich continues to focus on patients. “We provide valuable services that complement our medical therapies. A good example is our call center for couples undergoing fertility treatment. There are trained personnel available around the clock to answer specific questions about how to use our products or deal with the emotional aspects of undergoing treatment. For many people, multiple treatment cycles are necessary, and coping with failure each time is a huge issue.”
In addition, Rich points out that EMD Serono is a leader in efforts to raise public awareness about infertility. “We have launched a number of campaigns that are linked back to our website: fertilitylifelines.com
. We try to educate the public about how widespread infertility really is and the urgency to get treated before time runs out on the biological clock.”
Fertility Lifelines also addresses couples who discontinue treatment for financial reasons. “Merck Serono has a support program to reimburse needy patients for part of the costs during the second cycle of treatment. There are video testimonials on the website documenting how couples tried a second time thanks to this financial help and succeeded in having a healthy baby. It’s a good feeling to work for an organization that can make such a difference in people’s lives.”
“For me, that’s what ‘Living Science, Transforming Lives’ is all about,” Rich says. “It means helping an infertile couple succeed in having a baby. It’s a multiple sclerosis patient who is able to manage this debilitating disease. It’s a boy with growth hormone deficiency reaching the same height as other kids his age. And it’s the investment in groundbreaking science that makes all of this possible.”