Familiarizing the employees of Interpharma member companies more with cross-sector issues that are not product-related – such as the importance of the pharmaceutical industry for Switzerland and the regions – is the idea behind the Lunch&Learn programme that was launched in 2016. Two member companies get together for the tandem event and jointly organize an internal event to this effect at both companies.

around 50 employees

The first joint pilot events by Merck and GSK (2nd and 15th June) and by Janssen and AbbVie (8th September and 27th October) proved a success. The benefit of the pharmaceutical industry was explained well using emotional examples, both for patients and also for Switzerland as a business location. Each event was attended by around 50 employees, who were familiarized with overarching industry issues. “The employees were really enthusiastic, and around 60 people turned up, which is a very good number for a town hall event. The cooperation between the companies was very straightforward,” said Philipp Kämpf, Director of External Affairs at AbbVie AG, after the event on 27th October.

Participation is voluntary

Participation is voluntary for member companies, and the interested parties organize the events independently. Interpharma provides the necessary materials such as brochures, presentations and so on.

Ludo Ooms, Managing Director Janssen-Cilag AG Switzerland & Austria (left) and Olaf Weppner, General Manager AbbVie Switzerland (right).

Ludo Ooms, Managing Director Janssen-Cilag AG Switzerland & Austria (left) and Olaf Weppner, General Manager AbbVie Switzerland (right).

The idea for the tandem Lunch&Learn events was raised in the Communication Working Group. New ways were being sought through which industry topics could be better communicated using concrete and inspiring human stories with a personal touch and employees familiarized more with issues that cut across the whole sector. The Interpharma board was full of praise for the project, and it was suggested that the concept also be presented and implemented in other European countries.

The Lunch&Learn events will be continued this year.