Interview | BERLIN-CHEMIE: A woman heading the German business

Christiane von der Eltz was appointed to the Executive Board of BERLIN-CHEMIE on June 1 of this year and is responsible for the Pharma Germany division. The qualified pharmacist brings with her a wealth of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Previously, she was General Manager and Country Speaker of Merck Switzerland and has many years of experience in various therapeutic areas such as general medicine, diabetes, special medicine as well as oncology. Among other things, we spoke to her about her new position at BERLIN-CHEMIE and her plans in the capital.

Why did you take on the position at BERLIN-CHEMIE? What appeals to you about the new job?

It is the overall package that the new task entails and that makes my position so attractive to me. BERLIN-CHEMIE is one of the strongest companies in the area of general practitioners in Germany. We have many partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies who benefit from our strength in this area for their products. I find it very exciting to get in touch with new potential partners and to initiate cooperations. It is also important to me that we maintain our excellent position in the customer group mentioned and continue to demonstrate outstanding performance here in terms of both quantity and quality. More and more digital projects are playing a role here. Particularly in a city like Berlin, with numerous digital start-ups, it makes sense to look for new ideas and solutions for doctors and patients on the doorstep. Another challenge that I would like to tackle is making the organization more agile and thus being able to react more quickly to changes in the market. I have already gained a lot of experience here in the past, which will also help us here at BERLIN-CHEMIE.

Have you been in contact with women’s networks in your professional career?

I have been active in Working Moms e.V. for many years and was also on the Board of the founding association in Frankfurt for many years. In the past years I lived in Switzerland and helped to establish a branch of the association there. The Working Moms are also active in Berlin and we have a total of over 600 members in German-speaking countries. The women’s network stands for the compatibility of family and ambitious work and we want to be a role model for young women and motivate them to follow this path. We also offer our members an excellent platform for exchanging ideas with like-minded people. Unfortunately, the model of the mother, who at the same time pursues her professional career, is still not always socially recognized in Germany. Mothers who decide to work full-time, for example, unfortunately still receive too little practical support – such as childcare concepts and tax benefits –and are often under constant pressure to justify their decision.

Your company also organizes the Congress for Health Networkers. What does your network mean to you?  

The Congress for Health Networkers (“Kongress für Gesundheitsnetzwerker”) took place for the 17th time in 2022. BERLIN-CHEMIE came up with the idea of this congress to enter into an exchange with all stakeholders in the healthcare sector, together with decision-makers in the healthcare sector, to discuss the challenges of care and to identify solutions. This network means a lot to us because we can better understand the needs of the stakeholders and the necessities of care through direct exchange. For many years, BERLIN-CHEMIE has made it its business to support our customers with customized solutions and an extensive range of training courses, in addition to providing a good supply of medicines. This also includes the Congress for Health Networkers in Berlin.

You came to Berlin in June. How do you like Berlin?

In the past years, I have lived in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and near Zurich. Berlin is different from these cities simply because of its size. Berlin is also extremely diverse and colorful, and each district has a different face. The first few months at the new job I unfortunately had little time to explore and enjoy the city, but I am looking forward to trying out many new restaurants. I also like going to art exhibitions, the theater or the opera. In this respect, the offer in Berlin is overwhelming.


Dear Ms. von der Eltz, thank you for this interview. We look forward to further exchanges with you and to the next Congress of Health Networkers, an important event in the capital region to connect everyone from startups to health insurers to practicing physicians.