Interview

Merz driving innovations in aesthetic medicine

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MerzMerz India offers a wide range of Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers as Belotero range to treat static worry lines and also provide intensive hydration therapies for rejuvenation of the face and hands, says Manju Garg, Country Head-India, Merz Pharma.

How technology is taking the healthcare industry to a different level?

 Technology does have an important role in healthcare. Technology drives newer treatments and post-procedure care. With technology, patients are empowered with knowledge and are able to make the right choice for themselves.

Market demand is high for advanced technology to primarily enhance patient compliance and comfort. A recent study of trend in procedures indicate that there is a dip in surgical procedures and demand has increased for non-invasive procedures.

Technology is helping create newer forms and formulations of existing molecules that add in patient benefits. In India, while technology brings in advancement for patients, who believe in pure, natural and safe ingredients/therapies.

Tell us about your recent accomplishments/achievements.

 According to Philip Burchard, CEO, “In the past 110 years, Merz has continued to reinvent itself and has successfully built new businesses again and again,”. Merz had the following motto: “Trust yourself, be different, and invent products that are truly needed.” Nowadays it is one of the leading companies worldwide in the area of medical aesthetics and offers an unparalleled product portfolio.

What kind of products and solutions you offer to clients?

 The product range available in India extends from a particularly pure Botulinum toxin to an ultrasound lifting procedure to a Hyaluronic acid based Dermal filler to Skin tightening medical device. These fields of business are accompanied by successful regional products from the Merz Consumer Care division which offers over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

Xeomin is a particularly innovative product of pure botulinum toxin. The botulinum toxin brands available in the market have complexing proteins in their formulation. Merz R & D and production technology has stabilized botulinum toxin even without these complexing proteins. The absence of these complexing proteins minimizes the risk of immunogenicity development in the individual.

Botulinum toxin is popularly used for Aesthetic procedures at regular intervals to continue looking beautiful. Botulinum toxin is also a common treatment to improve patient’s quality of life in post-stroke spasticity patients. India is currently facing the challenge of a high stroke incidence where post-stroke spasticity is a common disability amongst such patients.

If a regular user of Botulinum toxin develops immunogenicity to the molecule, then this therapy will not be effective at this stage of life. Thus, Merz India innovated the Pure botulinum toxin that has no complexing proteins and hence minimal risk of immunogenicity. We have many doctors in India happy with this innovation and are using this Pure botulinum toxin for many patients.

Merz India offers a wide range of Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers as Belotero range to treat static worry lines and also provide intensive hydration therapies for rejuvenation of the face and hands.

Ultherapy, is a therapy that offers non-invasive skin lifting and tightening using a FDA cleared device of ultrasound with visualization. While there are more than one million+ treatments done worldwide, Ultherapy is gaining momentum in a short period of launch in India as well.

With the innovation, Indian doctors have placed Merz product portfolio as second best-in-class products available in India. There are many companies marketing only fillers or toxins, but Merz has launched a complete portfolio to restore or create ideal facial Aesthetics.

How Merz is planning to redefine beauty?

Merz Aesthetics believes that Beauty is not just erasing worry lines and filling static lines.

Merz Aesthetics has recently launched the 1st ever medical guidelines at the 38th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Dermatological Surgery (ISDS) 2017. These guidelines can help aesthetic doctors achieve well-proportioned faces in Asians. These guidelines provide a holistic approach in Aesthetic treatments to achieve well – proportioned faces in Asians. According to these guidelines, the ideal oval facial shape can be created using different interventions depending on the individual’s baseline characteristics with Merz product portfolio.These guidelines also provide information to empower women to better understand facial proportions relative to attractiveness.

Tell us about journey of Merz Pharma, a global leader in aesthetics

 110 years ago, on March 9, 1908, Friedrich Merz founded the Chemische Fabrik Merz & Co. in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Today, the traditional company in Frankfurt is still family-owned, but it has evolved from a mid-sized pharmaceutical company into a leading global provider in the fields of medical aesthetics and neurotoxins.

How has been your journey in the field?

I Joined Pharma industry in 1990 after doing my M.Sc (Biochemistry), Scholarship in Pharmacology & Diploma in marketing. I have about 28 years of experience in Pharma industry into various segments such as Oncology, Cardiovascular, neuropsychiatry & Dermatology. Most of my experience has been into dermatology, about 18 Years.

I enjoy working in Pharma industry since it gives immense opportunity to stay ahead in scientific knowledge & information, dealing with educated people (mainly Health care professionals), Travel  & satisfaction of achievement.

What kind of challenges you face as a woman leader?

Though things have changed significantly over a period of time since the time I joined in 1990. At that time, there were negligible no of woman working in this Industry since it involved travel. Male colleagues/subordinates were not very open to take opinions or tasks. Travel was not very safe & organised during those days & support systems not adequate to take care of children. So that involved lot of planning & hard work to make work life balance. At times the life gets restricted to just work & family & no time for yourself.

Moreover, I have worked in ‘Start up companies’ at senior positions, most of my career which throws a lot of challenge dealing with multiple departments & diverse work which was not my forte or never handled before.  Everyone looks at me for the solution without me having anyone to suggest.

But I think these challenges have made me stronger & independent & keeps me continuously strive for improving my skills enhance my learning at fast pace which gives me satisfaction in my life.With this experience, I was ready to tackle all hurdles and challenges of launching India operations for Merz in 2015.

 

 

 

 

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