The CEO of Merck, Stefan Oschmann, expressed understanding for the new lockdown in Germany, even if he did not want to evaluate the measures in detail. “If we look at the number of infections and extrapolate what will happen with the intensive care beds, the measures are fully justified,” said Oschmann in the podcast “Die Stunden Null” (listen directly here).
Oschmann, who has headed the Darmstadt-based pharmaceutical and chemical company since 2016, also spoke out against the repeatedly requested alternative strategies of isolating only people over 60 and risk groups. That would mean around 30 million people in Germany. “I don’t believe in logic at all. If we just let the virus run through Germany like that, hundreds of thousands would be killed, ”said the Merck CEO. “That would be mostly older people, but they would die on average nine years prematurely. That is something that our society does not want. ”He is now tired of discussing it over and over again. “That we have to take drastic measures is absolutely correct.”
Merck is involved in around 50 vaccine projects as a technology partner and supplier. In addition, the Dax group, which had a turnover of 16.2 billion euros with 57,000 employees in 2019, is researching antiviral substances with which people are treated preventively. “You always have to be careful with predictions, but the early data from the vaccine projects look promising,” said Oschmann, who is in close contact with the pharmaceutical and biotech companies working on Covid19 vaccines.
The corona crisis hit the diversified company, whose roots go back to 1668, in different ways. In the pigments business, for example, in which Merck supplies the cosmetics and automotive industries, there were slumps in the first half of the year, and there were also declines in the pharmaceuticals business in the second quarter. Overall, however, business went well in the first half of the year, said Oschmann. The so-called life science business – including accessories and equipment for laboratories – experienced a real boom during this period.
Hear in the new episode of “The Zero Hour”,
- why Stefan Oschmann now even likes to talk to the works council,
- why the Merck boss lost 20 kilos this year,
- what it’s like not to fly to China once a month – to be there virtually every day.
All episodes directly from Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.