“We are increasing our spending in the low single-digit percentage range to almost 15 billion francs,” said new Roche boss Thomas Schinecker.
For 2023 there will also “certainly not” be job cuts, said Schinecker in an interview with the Tamedia publications published on Wednesday. Jobs would even be created. “We will continue to strengthen ourselves in the digital field. And in research, we are always looking for the best talent worldwide.”
Despite the loss of income from corona drugs and the expired patent protection of three cancer therapies, there will be no savings programs either. “Profit will decrease to the same extent as sales, which means we can maintain our profit margin,” said Schinecker.
Roche boss: profit margin justified
The profit margin of 42.1 percent of Roche’s pharmaceutical division is also justified despite rising healthcare costs. According to Schinecker, his group carries high risks. “Only one in ten drugs reaches the patient, the others fail in research. The average development cost for a new drug in the industry is 2.6 billion Swiss francs. Two-thirds of the costs are incurred before the clinical phase.”
Schinecker, who will head the pharmaceutical company from Wednesday, wants to focus on laboratory IT: “We are working on algorithms that combine various data from patients – and help the doctor in the hospital or practice with artificial intelligence and machine learning give for diagnosis and therapy.” According to the new boss, knowledge in biology is currently doubling every 80 days. “No one can know the latest publications. But IT can do it, and the algorithms are constantly improving.”
Schinecker: We want to remain Swiss companies
Despite the changing tax environment in Switzerland and abroad – for example due to the introduction of the OECD minimum tax – Roche wants to remain in Switzerland. The company does not believe in subsidies. “We are a Swiss company and want to remain so,” said Schinecker. But: “It is definitely the case that other countries currently want us to build more production and development with them.”