Do you want a career in rare diseases?

Check if you have the capabilities needed.

Immedica Pharma provides pharmaceuticals to patients with rare diseases and their caregivers. Working with rare diseases and orphan drugs is extremely gratifying as treatment is of utter importance for the patients’ health and life quality. Gunilla Mickelsson, Head of Northern and Southern Europe, reveals some unique capabilities needed when advocating treatments for rare diseases. 


– We create change in our patients’ lives by being close to the market, creative in finding solutions, and capable in our field, explains Gunilla.

It is essential to understand the patient, the physician, and other stakeholders on the specific local market to facilitate care.

General specialists

Behind every medicine used, there is an individual. Getting access to a drug might be life-changing for patients and their families. This might not always be straightforward and easy. Immedica needs to be on its toes and quickly find solutions to provide access when necessary. Gunilla has created an agile organization where her co-workers act as “general specialists” or “specific generalists”, as she calls it. 

— Knowledge is key to success. At Immedica, we have specific knowledge in the field of Orphan Drugs. Still, it is also essential to have more general understanding to find new approaches in daily operations. Locally, you do not need to be an expert in all areas, but you need to know which questions to ask and whom to ask. Our role is more of project leaders creating access than only direct sales.

Everyone in the team is both solution-focused and broad-minded. Focus is always how to help the patient, and to do that, we have to be open to finding new channels, stakeholders, and ways of collaboration.

Stay close

To be successful in a given country or region, you need to have deep local knowledge and strong local association. Examples include insights into how the health care system works and different government regulations, laws, and legal procedures. Both from the aspect of rare diseases, but also generally.

Naturally, Immedica’s first encounter with the patient is in the health care system, where it is crucial to have a deep understanding of how the individual’s everyday life is when living with a very unusual disease. The knowledge and insights help to prioritize and support in the right and needed way.

– The better understanding we have of the community we are a part of, the better work we can do, ultimately benefiting our patients, Gunilla explains.

One chance to launch

It is easy to believe that health has no price. But it is wrong. Every treatment costs and Immedica has to prove that the benefit for the patients, as well as society, overcomes the price. This is crucial, especially when launching a new drug.

For all products, patient access is essential, and it is vital in case of treatments for rare diseases. But it is not easy. 

  • You get one chance to launch a product. Every pharmaceutical has a price that you need to prove is valid and worth its cost. Immedica has a responsibility to ensure that we have the right price on our products and that we can get the drug to the patients who need it timely.

Launching capabilities have become even more critical in the pharmaceutical business, especially with scarce resources in the health care systems and stricter requirements from price and reimbursement authorities.

– A rare disease is rare, which means the patients – the individuals – are few. But they have a right to treatment, Gunilla states.