Last Thursday morning introduced us to spring, and what an entrance it made. The sun was shining, commuters passed each other with smiles, and the faint hum of summer could be heard for miles. The new season brings with it a fresh perspective, and as TheSocialMedwork moves into its second quarter, we picked the perfect day to take a look back in order to step forward.
So with butcher's paper and post it notes in tow, we left the city centre, ferry bound for a greenhouse cafe in Amsterdam North for a day of serious strategising. Whether it was the fresh air, the sight of water, or just the spring vibes in the air, we began to reminisce about our first days in TheSocialMedwork and our motivations for joining such a team. A very apt quote was then pointed out mid-nostalgia:
No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.
So that's what we did, we went right back to the beginning. Every idea begins with a challenge. Our challenge is clear: not everyone has equal access to medicines.
When we are ill, we take medication. We assume the most efficient treatment will be prescribed for our prognosis. But what if that’s not possible? What if a patient living a few kilometres across the border has better access to medication than I do? Geographical location plays a major role in access to life-saving options. So what are our options?
And this is where it all began.
Here at TheSocialMedwork we don’t believe in problems, we believe in challenges, and we believe in creating solutions. By utilising existing legal processes in place, understanding regulations, engaging with providers and our customers directly, we can unlock possibilities and help patients gain access to effective medicines, regardless of where they live. TheSocialMedwork was created to offer solutions, to offer alternatives, to offer hope. We are a team of innovators, pharmacists, scientists and lawyers. But most importantly, we’re dynamic!
As you step into our office you will find Laura, our products manager, researching and sourcing the latest and most innovative medicines in order to get them online ASAP. You will spot Alex, our medicines support manager, speaking to patients from Serbia to Brazil about medicines for specific diseases (he never ceases to amaze us with his linguistics skills). You will see Katrin, our chief operating officer, using her legal background to trail blaze the quickest possible delivery routes for our patients. Not to mention the anchor of our team, our CEO Sjaak, who keeps us focused, and always smiling.
But most of all, you’ll notice that WE LOVE LIFE. There’s no doubt about it, our jobs can be challenging and emotional. We’ve cried, we’ve laughed, we’ve shared. But we’re family and that’s what families do. We break bread together and we socialise together (we enjoy the occasional glass of wine, whisky, even ouzo – the perks of a multinational team!) We’re always there for our patients and knowing that we’re helping them access the latest approved treatments, is everything.
We’re a small island in a big ocean, but we’ve supported requests from over 75 countries and delivered life saving medicines to four continents.
So as we boarded our ferry back to Amsterdam with our 2017 company objectives firmly in place, we realised we’ve reached the world from here.
As 2017 moves forward, we hope to cross many more oceans, helping patients in every corner of the world.