ROCKLAND, Mass. and NEW YORK, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Inc. announced today that the MS LifeLines® call center earned re-certification for customer service excellence in providing support services to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community through the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Certification ProgramSM. This is the second consecutive year J.D. Power and Associates has recognized MS LifeLines with this certification after a thorough audit of customer satisfaction practices over several months in 2012.
For more than a decade, MS Lifelines has been committed to connecting with the 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.
"MS LifeLines has shown a commitment to providing outstanding customer service, and are to be congratulated for earning their second consecutive certification," said Mark Miller, Senior Director, J.D. Power and Associates. "Our research indicated that in particular, customers were very pleased with the level of courtesy and concern provided by MS LifeLines representatives, which is so critical when helping people cope with health-related issues."
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. For certification status, the call center had to 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.
"We are honored to receive J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Certification program recognition for the MS LifeLines call center for a second straight year," said James Hoyes, President of EMD Serono, Inc. "We are proud to provide support to the MS community through MS LifeLines and are pleased that the customer service excellence provided by our call center specialists continues to be recognized."
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, which includes people taking or considering Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) for treatment of their relapsing MS, and the caregivers who support them. The web site, www.mslifelines.com, provides information on living well with MS. The MS LifeLines call center is located at EMD Serono's headquarters in Rockland, MA.
"The MS LifeLines' call center is central in our being able to provide individualized support and resources to the MS community, which also include our Nurse Support Network, MS LifeLines Ambassadors and patient education programs," said Liz Barrett, President, North America, Pfizer Specialty Care. "We look forward to continuing our commitment to excellence in the services we provide to the MS community."
At the heart of the MS LifeLines network is its call center, which has answered nearly 1.5 million in-bound calls to date. 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 relapsing MS community understand their insurance benefits and assist them in getting access to Rebif.
- MS LifeLines Ambassadors: EMD Serono and Pfizer recognize it can sometimes help to talk with someone about what it's like living with relapsing MS. MS LifeLines Ambassadors 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 relapsing 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 relapsing MS. EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc. continue to demonstrate a commitment to the multiple sclerosis community with MS LifeLines and other programs.
For J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Call Center Certification ProgramSM information, visit www.jdpower.com.
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 approximately two million people have MS worldwide. 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 will not cure MS but it has been shown to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. Rebif can cause serious side effects, so before taking Rebif, patients should talk with their doctor about the possible benefits of Rebif and its possible side effects.
Potential serious side effects of Rebif include depression, liver problems, risk to pregnancy, allergic reactions and injection-site problems. Patients who have had an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, flushing or hives to another interferon beta or to human albumin should not take Rebif.
Users should demonstrate competency in all aspects of the injection prior to independent use. Patients with severe neurological deficits should not self-administer injections without assistance from a trained caregiver. Before taking Rebif, patients should tell their doctor if they have a history of depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, liver disease, thyroid problems, blood cell count or bleeding problems, epilepsy, or are planning to become pregnant. Patients should tell their doctor about all medicines they take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Rebif and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects.
Patients should talk to their doctor before taking any new medicines.
Possible side effects of Rebif include flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness), injection-site reactions, depression and anxiety, liver problems, abdominal pain, blood problems, thyroid problems and severe allergic reactions. Patients should let their doctor know if they 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 a doctor. For additional information about Rebif, please consult the Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at www.rebif.com and talk to a health care professional. Information is also available at 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 US 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, endocrinology and in reproductive health. In addition, EMD Serono is growing its expertise and presence in the area of oncology, with more than 15 projects currently in development. With a clear focus on the patient and a leadership presence in the biopharmaceutical industry, EMD Serono's US footprint continues to grow, with approximately 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 bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care 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 one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we 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. To learn more, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
About Merck KGaA
Merck is a global pharmaceutical, chemical and life science company with total revenues of €11.2 billion in 2012, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approximately 39,000 employees in 66 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free 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.; Pfizer