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Anders Blanck about his 17 years at Lif: “The industry is enjoying greater public trust now"

The announcement came as a surprise to those around him, but according to the protagonist himself, the timing was excellent. Anders Blanck is now leaving Lif – a decision that has been growing for some time. “I have been pretty much married to my mission. However, I will turn 56 this autumn, and if I’m going to do something else in my professional life, now is the time,” he says.

At the beginning of last week, it was announced that Anders Blanck is leaving the industry organisation Lif this autumn after 17 years, 11 of which as CEO. Anders feels that the timing is perfect because the next few months will be marked by the political processes before and after the Swedish government election.

“Although we who work in the industry feel that life science issues are paramount, they will not take centre stage or be greatly prioritised in the coming months, and that will give the board of Lif the opportunity to look for a successor in peace and quiet. I see a certain logic in a new person stepping in right now.”

Anders Blanck was recruited to Lif in 2005 by the former CEO Richard Bergström, today known as Sweden’s national vaccine coordinator. In 2011, Anders took over the CEO position.

What is the most important Lif achievement during this time?

“We have built on the development that Richard started, to build a strong trust in Lif as a representative of the research pharmaceutical companies. Now, we feel that we are respected, a partner in many different contexts, and we are almost always invited when life science and pharmaceutical issues are up for discussion.”

Anders Blanck also believes that the entire industry is enjoying greater public trust than it did before.

“The last step was taken during the pandemic, which gave rise to a completely different understanding of what the research pharmaceutical companies are actually doing. The proof was the record-breaking development of the Covid vaccines, and the fact that we managed to distribute them over most of the world, and that, on top of this, we also managed to deliver the other necessary medicines during the acute phase of the pandemic.”

Anders Blanck also talks about the importance of the fact that life science as a concept has been established, that Sweden has a life science strategy and a life science office, as well as the increased interest in pharmaceuticals as Sweden’s second largest export product.

Which major challenges remain for Lif and for your successor?

“The remaining challenge is an even clearer connection between life science – the research, all the fantastic advances in precision medicine, all the investments and jobs – and the everyday life of healthcare. In my opinion, we have yet to successfully build a bridge between life science and the everyday healthcare that many patients benefit from.”

What would you like to do next?

“I want to remain in the life science field because I’m passionate about it. I think it’s fantastic, and I am not leaving Lif because it’s boring, but because it’s time to look for new challenges. My ambition is some kind of advisory, senior position in life science, but my plans are not more specific than that right now.”

Artikeln är en del av vårt tema om News in English.

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