ROCKLAND, Mass. and NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Inc. announced today that the MS LifeLines® call center earned certification through the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Program(SM) after a thorough audit of customer satisfaction practices over several months in 2011. This is the first time J.D. Power and Associates has recognized a pharmaceutical call center for providing an outstanding customer service experience. MS LifeLines launched in 2002 with the goal of connecting with the multiple sclerosis (MS) community, listening to its needs and delivering individualized support to people living with MS, their families and their caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The MS LifeLines call center is to be congratulated on becoming certified, as this reflects its strong commitment to customer service," according to J.D. Power and Associates. "Our research indicates that MS LifeLines' customers were impressed with the level of concern demonstrated during the call, which is particularly important when supporting patients diagnosed with serious medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis."
To achieve certification, the MS LifeLines call center successfully passed a detailed audit of more than 100 practices across its call center operations and support functions. As part of its evaluation, J.D. Power and Associates also randomly surveyed MS LifeLines callers who recently contacted the call center. MS LifeLines call center, sponsored by EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc., is located at EMD Serono's U.S. headquarters in Rockland, MA.
"Receiving the J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Certification Program distinction demonstrates the dedication of the MS LifeLines call center specialists who are focused on customer service excellence," said James Hoyes, president of EMD Serono, Inc. "We are honored that MS LifeLines' call center has earned the J.D. Power and Associates certification."
For certification status, a call center must also perform within the top 20 percent of customer service scores, which are based on benchmarks established in J.D. Power and Associates' cross-industry customer satisfaction research. The evaluation criteria include the customer service representatives' courtesy, knowledge and concern for the customer; promptness in speaking to a person; and timely resolution of an issue or request.
"For almost 10 years, the MS LifeLines call center has provided individualized support and information to the MS community through its call center specialists," said Liz Barrett, president, North America, Pfizer Specialty Care. "As part of this commitment, we continuously benchmark and enhance these offerings to ensure they deliver a valuable experience for people living with MS."
MS LifeLines is an educational support service committed to the MS community in the United States. Its mission is to offer support to people with MS, people taking or considering Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) therapy, and the care partners who support them. The web site, www.mslifelines.com, provides information on living well with MS.
At the heart of the MS LifeLines network is its call center, which marked a milestone in 2010 by answering one million in-bound calls from the MS community. The call center includes patient enrollment specialists, patient support specialists, nurse support specialists and reimbursement specialists. Whenever someone in the MS community needs to speak with a live person, support is available toll-free at 1-877-447-3243. The MS community can also visit MS LifeLines online at www.mslifelines.com. The MS LifeLines call center can also connect callers to various programs including:
- Nurse Network: MS LifeLines nurses are MS-certified. They are trained in the specialty of MS and certified by the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses. They are available to conduct in-home injection training across the United States.
- Reimbursement Specialists: These professionals can help the MS community in the United States understand their insurance benefits and assist eligible patients in getting access to Rebif® (interferon beta-1a).
- MS LifeLines Ambassadors: EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc. recognize it can sometimes help to talk with someone about what it's like living with relapsing MS. MS LifeLines Ambassadors, sponsored by EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc., are individuals living with relapsing MS who share their stories with others in the community.
- Local Patient Programs: Thousands of local patient programs are conducted each year around the country to help people impacted by MS stay informed and connected with the MS community in their area. These local events feature informative talks with health care professionals and inspiring stories from MS LifeLines Ambassadors.
- Talk MS: This online talk show series features a variety of guests, including healthcare professionals, nurses and people living with MS.
EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc. continue to demonstrate a commitment to the multiple sclerosis community with MS LifeLines and other programs.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that there are approximately 400,000 people in the United States living with MS.
While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.
About Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)
Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif is not approved for treatment of chronic progressive MS. Rebif is available in 22 mcg and 44 mcg prefilled, preassembled syringes and a titration pack by prescription only.
Before beginning treatment, patients should discuss with their doctor the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif. Let your doctor know if you have a history of depression, seizures, liver disease, thyroid problems, or blood cell count or bleeding problems, or if you have had previous allergic reactions to medications. Tell your doctor about all medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Rebif and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects. Talk to your doctor before you take any new medicines. Rebif is not recommended for women who are or plan to become pregnant.
Potential serious side effects of Rebif include depression and risk of suicide, liver problems, risk to pregnancy, injection-site problems, and severe allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are rare and may be associated with difficulty in breathing and loss of consciousness, which require immediate medical attention.
The most common side effects with Rebif are injection-site reactions, flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches, tiredness), depression, abdominal pain, increased liver enzymes, and blood cell count decreases. Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms or feel sad, tired, hot or cold, or experience hives, rashes, bruising, yellowing of the skin, or a change in body weight (gain or loss).
This information is not intended to replace discussions with your doctor. For additional information about Rebif, please consult the Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at www.emdserono.com and talk to your doctor. You can also visit www.mslifelines.com or call toll-free 1-877-44-REBIF (1-877-447-3243). Rebif is available by prescription only.
About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leader in the U.S. biopharmaceutical arena, integrating cutting-edge science with unparalleled patient support systems to improve people's lives. The company has strong market positions in neurodegenerative diseases, with Rebif® (interferon beta-1a), as well as in endocrinology, with Saizen® (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection), Serostim® (somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection) and EGRIFTA® (tesamorelin for injection). EMD Serono is a leader in reproductive health, with Gonal-f® (follitropin alfa for injection), Luveris® (lutropin alfa for injection) and Ovidrel® Prefilled Syringe (choriogonadotropin alfa injection). In addition, EMD Serono is growing its expertise and presence in the area of oncology, with more than 10 projects currently in development. With a clear focus on the patient and a leadership presence in the biopharmaceutical industry, EMD Serono's U.S. footprint continues to grow, with more than 1,000 employees around the country and fully integrated commercial, clinical and research operations in the company's home state of Massachusetts.
For more information, please visit www.emdserono.com.
About Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.
About Merck KGaA
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of euro 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.
SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.