Our Work in the Field of Immunology

Approximately 1 in 5 Belgians has chronic, inflammatory, rheumatic disease rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis complaints1, and approximately 30,000 patients have chronic inflammatory bowel diseases2. Many of these diseases are painful, get worse over time and flare up periodically. Although great strides have been made in treatment thanks to the introduction of biological medications, not every case is curable3.

Rheumatic diseases

Rheumatic diseases can be very painful and may significantly reduce the quality of life. They are one of the main causes of physical disabilities and, depending on the course, may reduce workplace productivity. Over 120 million people in Europe are affected by rheumatic diseases4. Approximately 1 in 5 Belgians has chronic, inflammatory, rheumatic disease complaints. Besides adults, teenagers, and children can be affected. 1 in 1.000 children in Belgium suffers from childhood rheumatism. In Belgium, 1/3 of the population develops a form of rheumatism once in their life1.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

The most common chronic inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In both diseases, the immune system overreacts to the body's own germs or cells that are normally found in the bowels, resulting in inflammation4. The estimation increases to 2 million patients in Europe, and more than 5 million worldwide. Reported to the national population, 30.000 Belgians are affected, it represents a ratio of 1 in 360 inhabitants2.

“Every day we are committed to saving and improving lives with our current and future treatments by partnering with all stakeholders in healthcare. Only by working together we can achieve that mission.”

Tom De Smedt, Director Business Unit Hospital Care, MSD Belgium & Luxembourg

MSD invests in medical research

For more than 125 years, we have conducted research worldwide so that our medicines and vaccines can contribute to improving our society’s health, both now and for future generations.

In order to help constantly improve the quality of life of patients, we collaborate with the patient association Reumanet to create an electronic patient tool, the Chatbot that answers the questions of patient with rheumatic diseases.

Click here to learn more about MSD’s clinical research program in Belgium.

“We engage in medical research to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of patients with chronic rheumatic diseases and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
We want them to be able to lead a life as comfortable as possible.”

Perrine Thoorens, Brand Customer and Sales Manager Immunology, MSD Belgium & Luxembourg


1 https://www.reumanet.be/reumatische-aandoeningen, viewed 11.07.2019; 2 http://www.mici.be/crohn/tabac-alcool-drogues/, viewed 11.07.2019; 3 https://www.smccv.ch, viewed 14.11.2018; 4 https://www.clinicaltrials.gov, viewed 14.11.2018

CH-NON-00239, 10/2019