Read the Conversation

EF: What objectives did you aim to accomplish when you were appointed as the Country Manager of Organon Brazil?

RL: Having previously worked at MSD, I transitioned to the generic segment. After 5 or 6 years, I received a call informing me of potential opportunities in Brazil that aligned with my profile. When presented with Organon's principles, encompassing its portfolio, company values, desired culture, and rationale, I became profoundly captivated by the company’s mission. Our unwavering focus lies in empowering women's health, which is the cornerstone of our narrative. We strive to provide medications and solutions that enable women to exercise autonomy over their bodies and make informed decisions about sexual and reproductive planning.

Organon boasts an extensive array of contraceptives, bearing a long-standing legacy of pioneering the development of oral contraceptives and modern, long-acting reversible contraception. We are also actively engaged in the field of fertility. Considering the current circumstances, the importance of reproductive planning must be balanced. Many nations are experiencing a demographic decline, which hampers the creation of a robust workforce for the future. Planning reproduction becomes crucial for multiple reasons. Firstly, the world is rapidly aging, necessitating new dynamics and approaches. Secondly, different generations are needed to spearhead future technological advancements.  
Unplanned pregnancies remain a pressing concern worldwide. Emphasizing family planning and the right to decide about Motherhood (If and When) are pivotal aspects of cultivating a stable and progressive society.

We offer approximately 60 globally sold products, with 38 available, specifically in Brazil. Our primary pillars revolve around women's health, biosimilars, and established brands; all interconnected with the well-being of women. Consequently, our product range encompasses items tailored to women's health, biosimilars addressing breast cancer and immunological conditions more prevalent in women, and established brands targeting cardiovascular and respiratory ailments, which can also impact women more frequently.  

EF: How do you effectively distribute products nationwide in Brazil and meet the patients’ present-day needs?

RL: In this rapidly evolving world, we find ourselves in a moment where a return to the fundamentals of healthcare is essential. Amid the pandemic, attention shifted away from essential medicines, leaving a void in basic healthcare. Clinics and hospitals became restricted, leading many individuals to neglect routine check-ups and consultations, particularly with gynecologists. It is crucial to reinstate communication and awareness surrounding fundamental aspects of health, such as osteoporosis, menopause, and obstetric well-being.

A key principle we uphold is disseminating quality information across different regions and socioeconomic layers, particularly in a country like Brazil. We have gained insights into the most effective channels to deliver such information to patients through extensive surveys. Traditionally, healthcare providers serve as a primary conduit, but with the advent of technology, we must leverage platforms like social media and digital channels.  

In our survey analysis, we discovered that social media tends to be an effective channel for disseminating information to individuals in the higher socioeconomic classes. Conversely, alternative channels must be explored for individuals with lower incomes, where access to reliable information is limited. Therefore, we actively seek digital initiatives beyond social media or healthcare practitioners, utilizing tools like artificial intelligence and chatbots. Customization is paramount as different age groups and regional disparities need tailored approaches.

The ever-changing landscape calls for a reconnection with the fundamentals of healthcare. Restoring communication and awareness requires a multifaceted approach, blending traditional and digital channels. By adhering to regulations and leveraging innovative technologies, we can effectively disseminate high-quality information, ensuring it reaches diverse demographics and geographic regions.

EF: Could you elaborate more on your collaboration with CAF- Development Bank of Latin America and its potential impact on Brazil?

RL: Organon's initiative is noteworthy as it addresses the significant underfunding of women's health and well-being. Less than 4% of global research and development investment is allocated to this important area. Furthermore, less than 10% of new product submissions to regulatory agencies worldwide pertain to women's health. This lack of financial support starkly contrasts the substantial funding allocated to HIV, oncology, and recent vaccine development. Organon's approach, facilitating communication and collaboration between development banks, countries, states, cities, projects, and startups, aims to rectify this underfunding and significantly impact women's health. Already, several countries have embraced attainable funds for women's health initiatives. Moreover, we are witnessing a holistic and forward-thinking approach to addressing women's health needs by incorporating universal social value (USV), emphasizing the interconnectedness of health, social progress, environmental considerations, and effective governance. This comprehensive strategy positions us favorably for the years to come, equipping us with a powerful toolset.

EF: What is your assessment of women’s health awareness and knowledge regarding prevention in a country like Brazil?

RL: Organon recognizes that the well-being of women is pivotal to building healthy and prosperous societies. Unplanned pregnancies can lead to a cycle of limited opportunities for women, hindering their productivity and causing wide-ranging economic implications. Therefore, promoting reproductive planning is crucial for fostering a more economically viable future.  
The prevention of maternal mortality is also a significant focus for Organon, and we have developed a groundbreaking device that can reduce the burden of postpartum hemorrhage, safeguarding the well-being of mothers and their families.  

Another important aspect is the changing aging landscape, where women remain active and productive for longer. Menopause, which previously marked the end of women's re>productive years, no longer poses the same barrier. Organon aims to improve women's daily lives navigating menopause and other conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, ultimately enhancing each phase of a woman's life. Healthcare developers must consider women's diverse challenges and strive to make their everyday experiences more positive and fulfilling. The pipeline of innovations developed by Organon reflects their dedication to improving women's health and stands as a testament to our pride in these achievements.

EF: How does Organon extend its commitment to women beyond patient care? How are you actively promoting and attracting female talents to the company?

RL: Organon Global sets itself apart by maintaining one of the most diverse boards globally, encompassing gender, ethnicity, orientation, and religion.

The company actively attracts and embraces diverse talent through affirmative policies, inclusive job postings, and employee resource groups. These initiatives promote dialogue and understanding by providing platforms for employees to share their life experiences, address challenges faced by women in the past, and contribute to developing improved policies for the future.  

Notably, Organon Brazil has a workforce where nearly 50% are women, with a similar representation in leadership positions. However, the company strives for progress, setting targets to address existing disparities. Efforts include targeted hiring goals and ongoing evaluation of salary equity. Moreover, Organon recognizes and appreciates cultural differences in a vast country like Brazil, valuing intercultural understanding and treating everyone equally. Organon's internal climate surveys reflect the commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, showing high inclusiveness, openness, and engagement ratings.  

The company is intentional in its actions, ensuring that inclusivity is not merely a slogan but a genuine commitment to equality. Organon understands the importance of reflecting the demographics of its population, focusing on empowering women who constitute the majority of Brazilian households. Additionally, the company acknowledges the need for increased representation of different ethnicities, aligning its efforts with the diverse composition of the country's population. Lastly, Organon's purpose, centered on improving women's health and enhancing their daily lives, is a powerful magnet for attracting passionate individuals who resonate with the company's mission and values. The genuine dedication to creating a better and healthier future resonates strongly with prospective candidates, resulting in a considerable influx of interest and support for Organon's purpose-driven work.

EF: Do you have any final message for our readers?

RL: In today's world, developing new technologies and ensuring access to healthcare play a pivotal role. When advancing women's health, these factors become even more crucial. Recognizing that our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts are the ones who nurture and care for us, it becomes evident that a society built on the foundation of healthy women contributes to a healthier and more prosperous society as a whole. Therefore, striving for equality and gender parity while focusing on women's health and ensuring access for women from all social classes, geographic locations, and cultural backgrounds becomes an essential cornerstone for creating a better and economically thriving society in the future. As an Organon founder, leaving this legacy for my country is paramount.

August 2023