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ROCHE NEW ZEALAND
At Roche we focus on developing medicines that will help patients live longer, better lives - from early detection and prevention of disease, to diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring.
Founded in 1973, Roche NZ now operates out of an open plan office in Newmarket, Auckland. Here you will find a small but diverse team of 30 dedicated people who have the primary goal of facilitating New Zealanders' access to our innovative medicines.
With its parent company in Basel, Switzerland, our local company has serviced NZ for over 40 years. The antibiotic Bactrim was introduced here in 1969; since then we have supplied over 100 Roche medicines to NZ with a focus on cancer therapies. Our team understands that life changing discoveries will only matter if the right medicines get to the right patients. To do this we work with New Zealanders; with patients, with clinicians and with scientists.
Ian Black - General Manager
In the 25 years I've worked in pharmaceuticals (including the last 18 years at Roche) I've been lucky to work alongside talented and dedicated individuals across the health care sector. Over that time there have been some significant advances in health care and it's both exciting and a privilege to be part of an industry and a company that has helped shape the lives of many people.
The Roche team in NZ is passionate about ensuring we make a difference for our fellow Kiwis and work closely with a range of stakeholders to tackle some of the key disease areas impacting people living in NZ like breast cancer, lung cancer, haemophilia A, lymphoma, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
I love my job because of the products and people I work with and the impact they make each and every day.
Jan Campbell – Director Medical Affairs
Roche is a great place to work. I should know, I have been here for 17 years now. I've been lucky to work with so many fantastic workmates in the Roche NZ team, which is small enough to feel like my work 'family'. In addition, I work with many colleagues and friends around the globe who make up the Roche network.
So many changes have occurred since I joined the company in 1999 and my role has been no exception. I joined as the first clinical research associate for Roche NZ. This saw me travelling the length and breadth of the country monitoring the development trials undertaken by specialists in clinical research in NZ. It was a brilliant job; combining the satisfaction of seeing the response patients experienced on some of our new medicines, with working with fantastic clinical teams in our hospitals and specialist research centres.
The role quickly expanded as did the medical function within Roche. Today, as Director of Medical Affairs, I lead a team of medical managers, clinical research specialists, quality management, and the pharmacovigilance team. Medical information also sits in medical affairs.
I've experienced cancer treatment myself and know that the most important role we can play is to support the safe use of our medicines so that patients get the best outcomes possible. That just about sums up what motivates me to come to work at Roche.
Kerstie Twiname – Senior Product Strategist
I have been with Roche NZ for twelve years.
Over that time I have looked after a number of medicines, including Xenical, NeoRecormon, Tamiflu and now MabThera and Actemra for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Esbriet for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
I am responsible for the marketing and sales of these two medicines. I work as closely as I can with the rheumatologists and their teams around the country. I do this to try and help them and their rheumatoid arthritis patients as much as I can. I also want to better understand the issues and to develop the most important and relevant information for them and their patients.
What makes my job worthwhile is hearing the patient case studies where one of our medicines has really made a significant difference to a patient's quality of life.
Nadia Kaienua – Regulatory Affairs Product Manager
I have worked at Roche for around seven years, starting off in Regulatory Compliance and moving through to my current role as a Regulatory Affairs Product Manager. In my role I work as part of the Regulatory Affairs team for Australia and New Zealand.
In New Zealand, every medicine sold must first be registered with the Ministry of Health (Medsafe), and it is my job to ensure this is the case. I review the medicine dossier against NZ legislation and guidelines and determine a strategy to bridge any gaps. I adapt sections of the dossier to fit local requirements before finally submitting the registration application to Medsafe for review.
Medsafe evaluates aspects such as the manufacturing and testing of the medicine (quality) as well as the benefit-risk profile (efficacy and safety) of the medicine as observed in clinical trials (and also in the post-market setting for registered medicines). Once registered, the medicine can then be made available to New Zealand patients.
Any further changes to the quality, safety or efficacy aspects of the medicine once it is registered may also need to be reviewed and approved by Medsafe. I assess whether or not these changes need to be registered; obtaining additional documentation and determining what impact the change may have; before submitting the application to Medsafe to ensure Roche can continue to supply the medicine.
I am also involved in submissions and obtaining approvals for Roche to be able to run clinical trials; giving New Zealand patients an opportunity to receive a medicine which may otherwise not be available to them.
Paul Schon – Senior Product Strategist
I am a Senior Product Strategist leading the Roche cancer products, MabThera used in the diseases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and GAZYVA used in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL).
My role is to ensure the seamless introduction of these products into the New Zealand health system.
These products are important to the health of New Zealanders who have cancer. To ensure health care providers are in the best position to access and use these products optimally, I undertake a number of activities to achieve this outcome.
For example, in conjunction with the medical manager, I look to provide ongoing information on our medications. This information is constantly changing as the drug is used more widely and more experience is gained around the world. The sort of information I provide can include updates in the latest medical trial results, including new combinations that have been successful, side effects of the drugs and how to better manage these.
It is important to me as a Kiwi that our citizens get the best products, access, support and information possible to achieve the best outcomes for their disease. Working at Roche I look to achieve that every day.
Tina Stanimiroff – Senior Medical Affairs Assistant
I’ve worked in the Roche NZ affiliate for more than eight years and am a Senior Medical Affairs assistant. My role consists of drug safety oversight and clinical trial administration.
One of my main responsibilities is to ensure that the collection, reporting and handling of safety information associated with Roche products is performed according to global and local regulatory requirements. Reporting all adverse events (side effects) associated with Roche products within specified timelines is crucial in maintaining the safety profile of our medicines. This ensures that clinicians have the most up-to-date safety information available to them when prescribing medicines for New Zealanders.
I also provide support to the local study team by managing the payments to clinical trial sites and preparing legal documents for clinical trials. The timely preparation of legal documents for clinical trials means that our trials can start as soon as possible, giving New Zealand patients access to innovative medicines sooner rather than later.
Edwina Mandisodza – Quality and SHE Manager
I have been with Roche for six years.
My role is to provide quality and safety, health, and environment (Quality and SHE) oversight for the organisation. This involves quality assurance check and approval of medicines for supply to New Zealand patients. I am responsible for the quality management system to ensure uninterrupted supply of safe medicines to patients and ensure that if anything goes wrong, issues are handled expeditiously to avoid harm to patients.
I help to manage product complaints and coordinate recall / issue management, as well as routine Quality Risk Management. In checking medicines for supply to patients, I am checking that each batch meets NZ registered specifications that include checking each produced batch has the required amount of active pharmaceutical ingredients and meets its attributes for sterility, purity, and strength. This means New Zealanders are assured of high quality, safe, efficacious medicines. All this is done while ensuring sustainability so the impact of our operations on the environment is minimised, and the health and safety of our staff, contractors, and visitors is well taken care of.
More than 100 years ago in Switzerland, our company’s founder, Fritz Hoffmann turned a pioneering idea into reality: namely that a partnership between business and science can improve peoples’ lives.
Expanding globally, our founders tackled obstacles and worked across disciplines and cultures. They embraced risks. This is still how we transform lives, provide cures, comfort and hope today. This is what it takes to make a difference in the health of millions.
We continue to learn along the way. We explore ideas, face setbacks and relentlessly pursue new approaches to make true advances against disease. And our people remain dedicated to transforming science into breakthrough medicines and diagnostics. The quest goes on to improve the life of each patient in the best way possible.
In partnership with others together we spark meaningful change for the future of human health. Because a great idea is a great idea, no matter where it comes from.
So our journey continues. The world needs better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. We are committed to bringing these advances to everyone who needs them, no matter where they live. And this is our promise: to care about this generation, and the ones to come, for the next 100 years and beyond.
We are a global healthcare pioneer advancing science for humanity. This is who we are.
This is Roche.