Behind every number is a story

Our contributions to a healthier society

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137 Million

people with serious illnesses treated with our medicines.

Amr is living with multiple sclerosis.

A patient’s perspective

I had my first attack in 1999, when I was 32 years old, and was knocked out cold. I couldn’t move my hands and legs. I was overwhelmed by fatigue, which surprised me as I was a fit sportsman.

Dr Amr Khairy

Dr Khairy is a former Taekwondo World Champion. His life changed completely when he suffered his first attack of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that attacks the central nervous system, and causes varying problems of numbness, fatigue, seizures, and problems with mobility and vision, among others.

Dr Khairy underwent experimental treatment, which halted some of his symptoms, but left him confined to a wheelchair. “This highlighted for me the need for a safe and effective treatment,” he said.

Did you know that...?

The symptoms of MS, and the course the illness takes, vary widely from person to person. Most people with MS initially are diagnosed with a relapsing-remitting or primary progressive form of the disease.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
Primary progressive MS (PPMS)
PPMS is a highly disabling form of the disease. Approximately 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.1
RRMS is the most common form of the disease. Approximately 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS.1

Living with MS is a challenge both for the person with the disease and their caretakers, but can affect their financial well-being, due to the costs of medical care and loss of productivity at work.

The average annual cost of MS per person is EUR 40,313, which is made up of direct medical costs, indirect costs, such as loss of productivity at work and informal care costs.2


Direct medical costs


Indirect costs


Informal care costs

Achievements in 2017

In 2017, Ocrevus has been approved for use in countries across North and South America, the Middle East, EU, as well as in Australia and Switzerland. Ocrevus is the first and only approved medicine for both relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS. It represents the beginning of a new era for the MS community. The medicine targets a specific type of immune cell considered a key contributor to the nerve damage that accompanies MS.

In addition to Ocrevus, we launched new medicines to treat bladder cancer and haemophilia. We are developing medicines in various disease areas, for example in oncology, neuroscience or infectious diseases.


patients included in clinical trials


new molecules in clinical development

137 million patients treated with our medicines in 2017

The patient number estimates how many treatments for specific diseases have been delivered in one year. It is based on the medicines sold and adjusted by average daily dose, treatment duration and compliance.

Further references

1. WHO. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer Last accessed December 2016.

2. WHO, GLOBOCAN 2012. Estimated Cancer Incidence. Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. Available at: Last accessed October 2016.

19 Billion

tests conducted with our diagnostics.

One of them helps to prevent cervical cancer.

Better screening to prevent cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the only cancer we can prevent. We have advanced diagnostics to detect the disease early. Women need to be proactive with their health and educated about these tools, because with these tools, we can end cervical cancer.

Tamika F.

Tamika has survived cervical cancer for over 17 years now. Since she finished her treatment in 2001, she has been a strong advocate for the cervical cancer community.

Did you know that...?

Over 99%1 of cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is very common, and only some strains of HPV can lead to cancer, which is why advanced screening for the specific highest-risk types of HPV is vital for women. In 1996, the World Health Organization recognised that HPV is the most important risk factor in the development of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and curable cancers. Yet without proper screening, hundreds of thousands of women each year die from the disease–most of them in the developing world.

Better screening for cervical cancer

More than 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer worldwide

More than 270,000 women succumb to the disease2

Achievements in 2017

In the US, we launched a new biomarker-based test that identifies the highest-risk types of HPV. This helps physicians determine whether women should undergo further testing and receive treatment for cervical pre-cancer if necessary. Women who test positive can benefit from immediate intervention, while those who test negative can be reassured that they are at low risk for developing cervical disease. Countries are increasingly looking to adopt HPV DNA screening as part of their national cervical cancer programmes.

In addition, Roche also launched a haematology testing solution and next-generation biopsy kits for oncology research. We offer the broadest range of in vitro diagnostic solutions in the industry.


Diagnostics key product launches


new partnerships in Diagnostics


1. WHO. Human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer Last accessed December 2016.

2. WHO, GLOBOCAN 2012. Estimated Cancer Incidence. Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. Available at: Last accessed October 2016.

CHF 28 Million

average spend per day in R&D.

One important investment is in new generation antibiotics.

A critical need for new antibiotics

It is estimated that by 2050, 10 million people could die each year from antimicrobial resistance if things continue as they are.

Prof. Anna Maria Geretti
Roche scientist and acknowledged infectious disease expert

When antibiotics were introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, they were called “miracle drugs” because they could treat a broad range of infections, saving millions of lives around the world. Today, due to the overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to them. Scientists and public health officials are alarmed that without a new arsenal of antibiotics, many people could die of even minor infections.

"That is why Roche is developing new antibiotics to help reset the clock on antibiotic resistance. We are also focused on expanding our comprehensive infectious disease portfolio to help prevent the unnecessary use of antibiotics." Given the urgency of the problem of antibiotic resistance, we are collaborating with governments, industry, and non-governmental institutions to help create a timely solution.

Did you know that...?

For many decades, Roche was a major innovator in antibiotics, developing Bactrim, introduced in 1969, and Rocephin, launched in 1982. Hundreds of millions of patients have benefited from these two medicines and the many generic versions that followed. Both Bactrim and Rocephin are part of the WHO List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in any health system.

Roche scientists developing Bactrim (left, 1953) and Rocephin (right, 1981)

Achievements in 2017

Roche has returned to the area of developing antibiotics heeding the World Health Organization’s warning that the world is running out of effective antibiotics to fight increasingly resistant bacteria. Our research organisations have antibacterials in early clinical development.

We are also creating better diagnostics that can detect “bad bugs” quickly and reliably, including compact devices for physicians’ offices, emergency rooms and other healthcare facilities that can deliver accurate results in a matter of minutes to guide therapy decisions.

In addition to antibiotics, Roche is also carrying out clinical trials in diverse areas such as oncology, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions, ophthalmology, immunology, inflammation and infectious diseases.


R&D as % of Group sales


Roche medicines on the WHO List of Essential Medicines

91% reduction

in halogens and halogenated refrigerants since 2002.

Our employees are helping to reduce our impact on the environment.

Committed to a healthier environment

I don’t yet have a family. But someday, if my child asks me about my job, I would say, ‘Look at the sky. It used to be grey. Your father is helping to keep it blue.’

Ben Fu Environmental engineer at Roche

Ben Fu is an environmental engineer who works as a Safety, Health and Environmental Officer at the new Roche Diagnostics manufacturing site in Suzhou, near Shanghai. He has helped to make our 48,000 m2 Suzhou site meet high environmental standards, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certificate from the US Green Building Council.

Did you know that...?

Our manufacturing site in Suzhou, China, was designed using the latest eco-efficient technologies that meet the highest environmental standards. Water-efficient taps and carefully-planned landscaping reduce overall water consumption, while wastewater from production is treated and reused for other purposes.

Solar panels on the roofs will produce enough electricity from sunlight to cover almost...


of the energy needs of the administration building — enough to power almost 500 private homes for an entire year.

Achievements in 2017

In 2017, Roche was ranked the world’s most sustainable healthcare company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the ninth year running. For the first time, Roche was identified as a global leader for its actions in managing water more sustainably by CDP. This non-profit global environmental disclosure platform, awarded Roche a position on this year’s Water A-List. Companies on the A-List receive the highest rating in accordance with CDP’s water scoring methodology.

We proactively seek new, more sustainable technologies and processes to achieve our environmental goals, such as reduction in energy and water consumption:


decrease in energy consumption since 2015


decrease in water consumption since 2015


employees working to do now what patients need next.

Severin is one of them.

People in focus

By providing everyone at Roche with the opportunity for personal development, we ensure the growth of our single largest investment – our people – as well as the success of our organisation.

Severin Schwan CEO Roche

Our employees drive healthcare innovations that touch the lives of millions of people across the globe. These innovations originate in people’s minds, and therefore, investing in people – their learning and development - and diverse talent is instrumental for our success. Making efforts to enable a balanced life is critical to deliver the best results in our work, and help people to show their full potential.

Did you know that...?


employees in over 100 countries work together at Roche. Our presence, with facilities and employees in each continent, is truly global.


21,321 employees

Largest site

Chugai, Tokyo, Japan

40,753 employees

Roche Group headquarters

Basel and Kaiseraugst, Switzerland

Largest site

Mannheim and Penzberg, Germany

1,177 employees

North America
25,144 employees

Largest site

Genentech, San Francisco, US

Latin America
4,600 employees

Australia/New Zealand
739 employees

Employees by operating unit

Roche Pharmaceuticals




Roche Diagnostics




Employees per function

Marketing and distribution


Manufacturing and logistics




Research and development


General and administration


Achievements in 2017

We’ve done a lot to make Roche a special place to work, and we’ve received high marks in company rankings. In 2017, Forbes once again recognised Roche and Genentech as among the top companies to work for in the US. Roche affiliates around the world are selected year after year by the Great Place to Work Institute and the Top Employers Institute as the best places to work in their respective countries, ranging from Algeria to China and from Poland to Italy.

28 %

of women in key leadership positions

24 %

of key leaders with diverse work experience


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