Earlier this week, PatientView, an advocacy organization that studies how pharmaceutical companies are seen through the eyes of patient groups, released the findings of its U.S. Corporate Reputation of Pharma survey. At Lundbeck, we were thrilled to learn that – for the second year in a row – we ranked first not only in overall corporate reputation (among 30 companies), but first in all seven individual indicators of the survey.
I joined Lundbeck almost eight years ago, shortly after the company established its U.S. affiliate. From those first days, when our team here was just beginning to grow, the company’s uniqueness struck me in ways that still inspire me nearly a decade later. Of those many differentiating qualities – especially our singular focus on brain disorders and our 70% ownership by the non-profit Lundbeck Foundation – none has registered for me as deeply over the years as our employees’ intense passion for patient advocacy.
Today, companies across all industries are dedicating more thought, planning, and resources than ever before to protecting and growing their reputations. In this environment, to receive top recognition from patient groups for two consecutive years is humbling and has caused me to reflect on our approach to business.
Lundbeck is certainly not the biggest pharmaceutical company in the industry, and we are far from a household name. There are many outstanding organizations who outnumber us in multiples and who share our motivation to translate research into a world filled with less suffering. Knowing this, I’ve asked myself what it is we’ve done to stand apart in the eyes of patient groups. The answer, I believe, is that we’ve made patient advocacy part of everyone’s job.
In the U.S., our Lundbeck team numbers slightly less than 1,000 people. In 2016, those individuals participated in more than 600 unique patient advocacy events.
Passion brings employees to Lundbeck. Whether diseases like depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, or schizophrenia have touched their lives in a personal way, or whether they’ve discovered their professional calling through another avenue, you would be hard-pressed to sit through a single meeting at Lundbeck without being reminded of our team’s determination to help patients. As leaders, if there’s one thing we’ve done well, we’ve let that passion flourish.
Every other Friday, I look forward to receiving our company newsletter in my inbox, because I know that in each issue, there will be pictures of our team members dedicating their personal time and energy – almost always at night or on the weekends – to participating in patient advocacy events in local communities around the country. They drive long distances at off hours to get there. They shake hands. They ask questions. They are tireless, committed, and determined to make a difference. Our reputation is strong because 1,000 sets of hands have forged it.
Lundbeck today is in many ways a different company than the one I entered in 2009. We’ve launched seven products in eight years and our team has grown by approximately 500%. We’ve experienced triumphs I couldn’t have imagined and our fair share of setbacks too. Through it all, the one constant has been the desire our people have felt to throw on their Lundbeck t-shirt, lace up a pair of sneakers, put their feet on the ground, and fight for the patients we serve. As we move forward, I have no doubt more changes, more triumphs, and more setbacks await. But as long as that passion is burning, I know we will continue to thrive, and I hope our reputation grows only stronger.