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Pharmaceutical Product Development CRA II Reviews

Updated 19 July 2017
12 reviews

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CRA II

2.9
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Pharmaceutical Product Development Chairman and CEO David Simmons
David Simmons
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good benefits, good work-life balance (in 67 reviews)

  • Ability to work from home in some cases (in 49 reviews)

Cons
  • Hard to have a work/life balance if you don't learn to say no (in 69 reviews)

  • no work-life balance for at least first 6 months (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "CRA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - CRA II in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is job security, also there are plenty of training opportunities. Great people work there, have made friends with most of them.

    Cons

    The overload is huge, the staff turnover very big. Everyone is under big pressure, including management. The stress of not being able to do your job properly.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more people, decrease workload, retain staff.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Clinical Research Associate II - Austin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CRA II in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - CRA II in Austin, TX (US)
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to start out with excellent training, vast range of therapeutic areas and an interesting group of co-workers. Assignments can be fast paced and challenging, which I really enjoyed. Meal per diem when traveling was a plus.

    Cons

    Salary was a bit lower than average. Growth opportunities can be limited.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Sr. CRA II"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Senior CRA II in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior CRA II in San Diego, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good line manager. Good health benefits (low premium, no deductible).

    Cons

    Expect CRAs to travel more (10-12 days on-site) and work more (lengthy MVRs 20+ pages with highly detailed annotated report, in a CTMS system) than other CROs.
    Atmosphere is negative and discouraging for CRAs. Morale is bad.
    Even lateral career moves for CRAs are discouraged.
    Some team and project management employs a 'pins and needles' attitude about how pleased the sponsor may be with CRA and CRO performance.
    Micromanaging but 'green' Team Manager.

    Advice to Management

    A positive growth environment will engender loyalty (not a large sign-on bonus).


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  5. "Old school and stuffy CRO"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II
    Current Employee - CRA II
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    An awesome, caring line manger.

    Cons

    Too many old school, stuffy, time consuming SOPs and processess

    Advice to Management

    Update the monitoring theories to come into the 21st century.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Typical stuff :)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II
    Current Employee - CRA II
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have an excellent line manager and have been here four years so far. I'm sure the issues I might mention are the same everywhere. No one has a 40 hr work week in this job line.

    Cons

    There is a shift from when I started...big push on metrics. 8 to 10 days on site expected every month, with push for 10. Ability to promote is harder and slower. Every two years IF you are great. And that's no guarantee....which causes staff to job hop to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Promote and reward staff that stay. Don't forget there are people with lives behind those metric$ you push so hard.


  7. "Line managers are not clear about expectations and inappropriately talk about employees with former employers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CRA II
    Former Employee - CRA II
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    oncology therapeutic area
    CRAs with therapeutic area experience

    Cons

    cancelled paychecks incurring returned check fee to employee
    discussing employees with former employers improperly
    inappropriately providing reference check information
    line managers not being clear with employees regarding expectations and then telling other line managers that differing expectations had been set

    Advice to Management

    require a paper trail for expectations rather than relying on inconsistent phone calls from line managers
    require clearer communication through the startup process for new hires


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good company/training/people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II in Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - CRA II in Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Came here from Covance. Similar structure (good PTO here as well). Technology is much better than Covance, timesheets are easier to do, expense reports are more simple (you get a per diem instead of having to expense every little item you buy). Training and onboarding are great here. I'm only on 1 study which is nice, though its very demanding and kinda hectic. The salary is like any other CRO: If you jump around then you'll increase your salary quickly. If you stay here you'll get 2% raises every year and will never increase your salary.

    Cons

    Like other big companies, you're ultimately judged on metrics which is BS. So you can find a patient safety issue and resolve it, you can write excellent trip reports, you can be a great support person for your sites, you can know your protocol inside out... but in the end you'll be judged on report turnaround times, how quickly you sent out letters, etc, etc. These metrics really dont tell the boss anything useful about your performance, but they're still used as the ultimate indicator of performance somehow.

    Advice to Management

    Look beyond metrics when doing end-of-year reviews. Maybe look into PM and coworker (and site) feedback instead of metrics.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II in Houston, TX (US)
    Current Employee - CRA II in Houston, TX (US)

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    no nitpick
    Good training for new CRAs
    Good CTMs
    work from office

    Cons

    less salary
    work like a donkey
    good for hard working people
    High turnover rate
    Very hard to get promoted or move to management


  10. Helpful (5)

    "great for starting out in the field"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRA II in Cincinnati, OH (US)
    Current Employee - CRA II in Cincinnati, OH (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hire home-based employees with no previous monitoring experience, as long as the background implies that the candidate is trainable for CRA work. Also, I'm not usually traveling so much that I get burnt out. For me, the work-life balance has been fine. I do believe that my line manager and my CTMs have a lot to do with that. Expense reporting simple and completely online. No mailing in receipts.

    Cons

    Pay, pay pay. Low on the scale. They are also starting to get a little excessive with tracking billable time. I really think they need to budget their studies a little better and get off the backs of the CRAs who are already handling a lot of work.

    Advice to Management

    The pay scale needs to be increased. I propose, in order to get your turnover rate down, CRAs with a year in the company should get substantial rate increases that are more in line with other CROs. In my case, I need about $20k more a year to consider staying.


  11. "Lots of travel, a little too heavy on the detail over content, but no big complaints."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CRA II in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - CRA II in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Easy to move up; good benefits; flexible schedule.

    Cons

    Constant travel is wearing. Not sure that the emphasis they say is on patient/subject safety is not overridden by profit.