Organon PH’s 1st year explores new frontiers in women’s health advocacy
A year ago as the world reeled from the impact of the unprecedented outbreak, Organon was established worldwide to advocate for better healthcare for women. In the Philippines, the pioneering team surmounted more than operational challenges as it delivered pharmaceutical solutions and offered hope among Filipino women and their families rebuilding lives amid the new normal.
Emman Tiglao, Commercial Director of Organon Philippines, describes the situation during the height of the coronavirus crisis as “very unstable and uncertain.” The pandemic’s firm grip on the economy and all other aspects of society exacerbated the company’s birthing pains: “Unestablished processes, systems that have yet to run, and business operations such as transfer of knowledge were all being done online“ – and these were just the tip of the iceberg.
He continues, “It was very difficult to engage healthcare providers at that time since everyone was focused on COVID-19. Our clients and patients were losing income and were not able to do consults nor buy medications, and they were afraid to go out.” But being the pioneers that they are, Organon’s people drew on their deep reserves of optimism that the pandemic will someday end, staying focused on overcoming implementation obstacles.
As a spin-off company of global pharmaceutical leader MSD, Organon’s mandate was to seek out and pursue new ways of tackling the healthcare needs of women worldwide. From the start, the Philippine office had a roadmap that prioritized hiring and training the right people—not just skilled and knowledgeable but, most importantly, self-driven, according to Tiglao—because the workforce will establish everything, including “initiating long-term programs guided by our North Star – patients and women.”
Since the organization was advocating for these two most vulnerable sectors, it needed to deliver hope in a timely way. On its first year of operations, both the executive bodies and smaller cross-functional teams of Organon were intent on simpler approaches, faster decision-making, and other measures that streamline procedures. It was also crucial that the group was not running empty on motivation especially during the early phase of the spin-off. “It meant that as a team, we celebrated small and big wins too,” Tiglao adds.
A Win for Women and Wellbeing
Before the pandemic, an estimated 218 million women ages 15 to 49 in low-and-middle income countries had an unmet need for modern contraception based on a 2019 study. As the global crisis hit and hit hard, a 2022 report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that nearly half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended.
As a women’s health company, Organon builds upon its strong foundation of more than 60 medicines and products across a range of therapeutic areas including reproductive health, heart disease, dermatology, allergies, and asthma. By working to ensure that these important treatments are made accessible around the world, the company is able to make a difference in people’s lives in more than 140 international markets.
The fact is that our globalized world has become even more complex since the pandemic. Everywhere and without doubt, COVID-19 accelerated and aggravated existing gender inequities especially in the field of health. Apart from disproportionate gender representation, there also exists disparities among women themselves as there continues to be a significant equity gap between different populations. Because of these, Organon cites a greater sense of urgency in seeking out opportunities that help advance global goals in sexual, reproductive, and maternal health.
To contribute to creating a better and healthier every day for every woman, Organon Philippines made far-reaching first strides in understanding the ecosystem surrounding women and through addressing the most crucial issues impacting them. On its first year, it executed the national tender for PSI or progestin sub-dermal implant, a contraceptive product. This means that through national and local government partnerships, the new family planning method is now publicly available throughout the country to serve as an effective, convenient, and safe approach for birth spacing among Filipinas.
Developing collaborations with stakeholders, governments, non-profit organizations, and relevant groups is key in coming up with data-driven, sustainable programs. The company conducted training sessions for more PSI providers in partnership with health groups like the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP), Philippine Society for Responsible Parenthood, Inc. (PSRP), and several hospital obstetrics and gynecology departments in support of responsible parenthood and family planning. Organon also started exploring the re-launch of fertility products for women and families trying to conceive.
Another healthcare investment within the company’s first year was creating strategic go-to-market plans to reach more healthcare practitioners and to more effectively bring Organon’s established brands to patients who need them. Moreover, it is helping address the unmet need of lowering cardiovascular risks by launching a new fixed-dose combination product for lowering lipids and improving cholesterol.
A Culture of Belonging
It has been said that everything begins at home, or in this case, the workplace. By ensuring that the needs and wellbeing of Organon workers are met, regardless of rank, and by encouraging them to share their views in work-related and non-work-related discussions, employees are more likely to achieve company goals, and treat patients and clients with respect and dignity. At just a year young, Organon is proud of nurturing an organizational culture that believes and thrives according to its core value, “We all belong.”
Though a simple word, belonging is a fundamental and powerful human need, and fostering this sense of acceptance in any community improves happiness, productivity and health. “The diversity and inclusion at Organon allow me to be myself in the presence of my colleagues, and helps me be better focused and more productive in my work,” shares Finance Lead Jean Pearl Garcia. “When employees’ opinions and ideas are heard, even though they can’t be expected to agree on everything all the time, they will feel confident and respected. I believe that is how you bring out creativity and synergy in the workforce: when you are able to bring together different point of views from people of different backgrounds and experiences, the organization can come up with equitable, holistic solutions to every challenge.”
Ronald Patindol, Professional Healthcare Representative, reflects on his first year in Organon exploring new frontiers in women’s health advocacy: “I am deeply honored and humbled to be a part of an organization that will move the needle and reshape the landscape for women’s health in this country. In terms of my own development, I am fortunate that management has given me the opportunity to dive into roles and responsibilities that will test my leadership capabilities, strengthen emotional maturity and enhance creativity. All of this in just one year of being with the company, so you can’t help but be thrilled with what they have in store next for women and patients.”
Organon is a proponent of improving the health of women throughout their lives because it understands that women are at the foundation of a healthier world. Whenever and wherever women are empowered through access to better healthcare products and services, this creates a ripple effect beyond the individual and the household, enabling even other people to live their best lives.
Tiglao shares his personal takeaway as a male professional working in a women’s health company: “Being male and a family man, I am reminded that my mother, wife, and two daughters have special needs as women. And if I can contribute to a better and healthier every day for them, then I will!
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