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Swiss pharmaceutical industry through the ages

Roche generated huge profits from synthesising and selling Vitamin C and other vitamins for decades. Keystone / Str

Switzerland is home to two of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and hundreds of other smaller biotechs and service providers. Are there lessons from Switzerland’s rise as a pharma hub over the last century and is the pandemic a reckoning for the industry?

This content was published on November 16, 2021 - 17:12

We spoke with Basel-based cultural historian Tobias Ehrenbold in a live Instagram discussion about blockbuster drugs, marketing strategies, environmental scandals, innovations, and the challenges of navigating domestic politics abroad.

Ehrenbold is the author of the biography of Samuel Koechlin, who was the first CEO of Ciba-Geigy, which are two Novartis predecessor companies that merged in 1970. He also wrote a volume on Roche in Asia and Oceania in the recently published history book on Roche around the world. He is currently working on a book on the modern history of Basel.

If you missed it live, you can re-watch our discussion below. Follow us on InstagramExternal link for more live talks, photos and videos.

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