The Minister of Health shows the Covid certificate. Then he will be presented with the first Cüpli in the Solitude Park. “Bon anniversaire”, Alain Berset toasted to Roche’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Christoph Franz. The chemistry between the two big animals from pharmaceuticals and politics is not only correct in terms of language but also in terms of content. “What happened in Switzerland in the second half of the 19th century is unbelievable,” says Alain Berset, praising the Hoffmann-La Roche founding family. “It’s a good time not to forget what our ancestors did. I hope we have the courage for the future too, ”says the Federal Council.
Remembering talents like Erika Böhni
More and more guests arrive. Business leaders such as Axel Weber and Peter Brabeck, members of the government of both Basel, Roche CEO Severin Schwan, Moderator Mona Vetsch and the Oeri family: There are a lot of celebrities in Solitude Park. In his speech, Christoph Franz recalls all the researchers who have achieved groundbreaking achievements in Roche’s 125-year history. About three Nobel Prize winners.
He also mentions Erika Böhni: the biologist and farmer’s daughter from Stein am Rhein played a key role in the development of the drug Bactrim. With a view to the future, Christoph Franz sees a great challenge in continuing to have clever minds on board. “We depend on having enough talents and providing them with a good working environment and ultimately on having a little bit of luck so that great new ideas come up to prolong life and cure diseases,” says the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“Justified debate about what services companies bring to society”
That is exactly what is always up for debate. Political voices critical of the pharmaceutical industry doubt whether the commitment to health needs can always be reconciled with profit orientation. Discussions about patent protection or drugs at cost are evidence of this. Ironically, the party of Health Minister Alain Berset has many demands on companies.
For example, the SP leadership duo, Cédric Wermuth and Mattea Meyer, are demanding state intervention in the pharmaceutical industry. You see this industry as a public service. When asked about this balancing act between party politics and good relations with the pharmaceutical industry, Alain Berset says: “That is a legitimate debate about what services the big companies bring to society”. The companies are aware of their responsibility, according to the Federal Council. “Sure, there can be different opinions that it will be debated, we can do that well in Switzerland,” says Alain Berset.
That Light spectacle at the Roche Tower takes place every evening up to and including October 1st. At 8 p.m., photos of the population are projected. At 8:20 p.m. there will be a contribution from FHNW students. At 8.40 p.m. followed by the “Roche Celebrate Life Show” Music by the Basel Symphony Orchestra and DJ Worakls. More photos from the population will follow at 8:55 p.m.