Pharmaceutical Product Development Clinical Research Associate Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Glassdoor uses cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies. OK | Learn More

Pharmaceutical Product Development Clinical Research Associate Reviews

Updated 8 October 2017
28 reviews

Filter

Filter

Clinical Research Associate

3.8
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Pharmaceutical Product Development Chairman and CEO David Simmons
David Simmons
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
Cons
  • Hard to have a work/life balance if you don't learn to say no (in 68 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "It's just ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Bellshill, Scotland
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Bellshill, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Local for office based position

    Cons

    Limited Scottish sites so maximum travel, slow for career progression

    Advice to Management

    Reconsider promotion scheme and regionalised monitoring


  2. "Excellent organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Bogotá, Bogota (Colombia)
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Bogotá, Bogota (Colombia)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The organization is excellent, has a excellent team. The work of all team members is valued and recognized. I am proud to have belonged to this company.

    Cons

    I have nothing negative to contribute to the company, because during my work there, I was able to grow professionally and personally and meet excellent people.


  3. "Probably no better or worse than most CROs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Clinical Research Associate in Blue Bell, PA (US)
    Former Employee - Principal Clinical Research Associate in Blue Bell, PA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The training they offered was generally good.

    Cons

    Their focus on quality has seemed to decrease over time.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Should I stay OR Should I Go??"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Detroit, MI (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Detroit, MI (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I love my line manager!! Many projects to pick and choose from.

    Cons

    Have been promoted once in over 5 years!! Hard to climb the ladder when they dont promote internally.

    Advice to Management

    Hire within!!! I hate training my CTM!!


  6. "Poor communication and employees come last"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Gain experience in monitoring clinical trials.

    Cons

    Extensive travel (4-5 days gone per week in reality, was told 8-10 days per month in interview), unsafe work environments at some sites (unsanitary conditions, high crime areas), when expressed concern to management was told the previous CRA said the same thing.


  7. Helpful (6)

    ""A CRO is a CRO is a CRO - and this is one of the originals that cast the mold""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate II in Wilmington, NC (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate II in Wilmington, NC (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I'd say a good place to break in to the industry with no experience and possibly a good place to count out your days to retirement until your 401k is vested and/or if you need benefits.

    Cons

    Too many to list, literally. In slack times you will not have enough to do, even though you may offer, you will not be cross-trained or be able to help co-monitor with a colleague. In busy times you will be asked to do the impossible, told firmly to simply 'do it' in so many words if you ask any question more than once, and be shown the door - immediately if you press the issue, later once you are no longer needed if you are not a 'team player'. By team player I mean be used and learn to play the game. As a valued PPD employee, you will be called upon to lie. Lie to the sites and investigators. Lie to the sponsors about the status of their trial and the feasibility of their monitoring plan and project oversight. Lie to your own manager when it comes to protesting workloads or project milestones sold by the sales team in bids and contracts that we all know cannot be met. Say nothing now - a change order will be added later when the predictable and preventable crisis hits. PPD optimizes profitability that way and can be a 'white knight' riding to the rescue of whatever problem has been created. Turnover is high enough in our industry that often staff at the client will not really know what went wrong and how to fix things long-term. That's because here every emphasis is on the short-term. Stock expectations every 3 months, both for the client companies as well as PPD. As a CRA you will be told that YOU, however, can only be evaluated once a year (that's the SOP, if it's often ignored). If you want a career and expect bonuses or a 'merit adjustment' (when conditions warrant that your salary is so low compared to industry average that you get a significant raise to bring you up to around 'market value' of the other major CROs at least). Seriously, people working here as CRAs should either be here to use the company to get needed experience or because maybe they are fortunate to be on a good team with professional colleagues they have a good working relationship with that they value. Those people are relatively happy, either too inexperienced to know any better, or experienced enough to know they can't really do much better anywhere else at the end of their career. For the majority in between, there are byzantine SOPs, bureaucracy upon bureaucracy to provide the illusion the bean-counters need you to see. Most of the billable time and profits at PPD derive from the monitoring - that's you if you are a CRA. They bill you out at more that twice - ouch, even 3 times your pay because they tell the clients you are getting close supervision, training, and oversight. In reality, you are on your own, and will either sink or swim based upon your own acumen. Succeed, and it's because you had a great team around you. Fail and you must not have had what it takes. There is a third course. Be lied to by your recruiter and HR about what to expect, your site load, your protocols, get hired, maybe relocate - know exactly what you are getting into - and find out nothing is what you were told, you have no protections at all, and you are down to the whims and caprices of your manager. Get along, and this can work, maybe even be good. Don't mesh or don't learn how to play the game and be a resource your boss can take credit for, and you are done before you start. Just don't burn bridges. Be smart. Everyone within the industry knows what PPD is, so you will only hurt yourself by being idealistic and bleating it like a lost lamb to anyone that will listen. Only confide in colleagues, and find your next position through them. The only good CRA job is one another CRA can tell you about and help you secure. I do know some people that are happy here; they have pretty low expectations, are good at what they do, and like their co-workers and are comfortable. PPD grants their 'managers' so much latitude Trump and Gandhi may have adjoining cubicles. Who you work for is often determined by drawing lots. As long as Trump makes the trains run on time, he's your problem. If you want Gandhi, set that up before you take the job, insist on it (you'll be told this can't be done and has never been done), and stick to your guns. If you are a good CRA, PPD needs you - you most definitely do not need them.

    Advice to Management

    This is a naïve proposition. No Advice. The mistake most reviewers make is assuming that their employer either needs or wants it. These are graduates of some of the top business schools in the country and managers with decades of experience. They know exactly what they are doing and things are going well - money is being made. If you didn't realize that you are just a small, replaceable cog in the machine designed to wear out and be discarded - you should now. IF you have an exit interview - some don't - you'll find most of the questions are about you - not them - and they may even ask you how you plan to pay them money back for 'training' or 'relocation'. Sound like a company that needs or values feedback? (you don't have to pay back anything, btw, you'll never hear from them again, and it won't go on your credit, it's just a tax write-off scam.)


  8. "Excellent company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate II in Arleta, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate II in Arleta, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    Good organizational structure well set up

    Cons

    Not much noticed. I am a contractor.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Just Started"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Washington, DC (US)

    Pros

    The web-based onboarding/training process feels more interactive and beneficial that hours and hours of self-paced online readhing

    Cons

    I am sure all companies have their cons, but I am just starting, so i do not have any negatives to report just yet.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "PPD"

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

    Pros

    Experience on many projects- never bored. Work colleagues band together and are very helpful. Good number of paid time off days.

    Cons

    Poor work life balance. Sometimes stretched too thinely. Demands are made without any consideration for your personal life. Not given the power to make any decisions and have to go through management for everything.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more remote monitoring and give staff a better work to life ratio. Give more power to allow the employees to make on site decisions.


  11. "SCRA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Current Employee - Senior Clinical Research Associate in Kiev (Ukraine)
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good working atmosphere, supporting management, competitive salary, advanced IT using

    Cons

    Communication between departments is not the best, no car/allowance