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Pharmaceutical Product Development Reviews

Updated 20 April 2018
949 reviews

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3.4
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Pharmaceutical Product Development Chairman and CEO David Simmons
David Simmons
306 Ratings

949 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Hard to have a work/life balance if you don't learn to say no (in 73 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and can do flexi hours.

    Cons

    Work off site so don't correspond with manager regularly enough.


  2. "A sinking ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good Line Manager, some good staff and colleagues, good work life balance.

    Cons

    Low pay, not competitive with other CROs, low bonus's, not enough to live on, high workload on a meagre pay is not fair. Slow to move up the promotion ladder, Study Managers abroad, do not understand the NHS and the timelines we are supposed to change are unrealistic, its all about money, which means quality and expectations to clients is unrealistic and lies a lot of the time.

    Advice to Management

    Staff retention would improve if you pay people a decent wage and not expect miracles to happen when dealing with NHS Trusts in the UK. Social aspect is non existent, no fun in the job anymore.

  3. "Edwardian Workhouse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The traffic isn't that bad, and has good parking.

    Cons

    Invasive practices, no freedom, below-industry salaries, no concern for staff, completely money driven, intimidating management.

    Advice to Management

    Look after your staff better and devise a better long-term plan.


  4. "Lead CRA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead CRA in Wokingham, England
    Current Employee - Lead CRA in Wokingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits and work/life balance

    Cons

    Very few career development opportunities in management.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "US-UK corporate culture conflict. New staff are set up to fail from day one."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Big, international company in a global industry.

    Cons

    US company, I worked in the UK office of the EMEA division. Only took me my first week to notice that senior management in the UK were in a corporate political 'tug of war' with their US counterparts, a losing battle for them as the US also had the backing of the executive level which was also all US employees. The internal politics had a waterfall effect on middle managers and non-management employees, who were essentially under pressure to make sure they didn't do anything to make their seniors look bad.

    Poor pay and benefits for such a large company in a cash-rich industry. Salaries were on average significantly below market rates.

    A lot of managers had become long serving employees, some had risen to managerial ranks through long service without the adequate technical skill set to do the job.

    Unfortunately the few genuinely good managers around the company were also stale in their roles as the very flat structure meant they couldn't move up, until a director left or changed roles (only one UK director vacated a role in my time with the company). As a result, junior staff couldn't progress because managers couldn't progress and sideways moves were neither easy or openly encouraged (again, managers couldn't do it so they didn't want their staff doing it).

    Given the above, lots of junior staff eventually become very disgruntled and either resorted to "looking out for themselves" or ultimately leave. Complete lack of succession planning, training, and support from managers means those left behind get pressured to pick up the slack. Anyone joining is thrown in the deep end from day one, which may be fine for some but not for others.

    Slow pace of business, resistant to change, systems are poor and create a lot of what should be unnecessary admin and manual workarounds. When new systems are implemented, education around the business is poor and problems arise when different everyone receives varying levels of training.

    Advice to Management

    Directors and Execs in the US and UK need to get on the same page, sort out the political in-fighting or at least make sure those down the chain who aren't part of it also aren't affected by it. Improve training of staff, both when they join and during their time in role/in company. Even in a flat structure if people can see potential career opportunities it will increase likelihood of retention, if this means moving stale managers out to open up progression paths then so be it. Find a way to offer more competitive salaries and benefits packages, this is another major reason why people leave this company especially when they realise the work expected from them and the pressure to deliver generally are not worth putting up with for the poor pay and lack of benefits. Don't advertise a flexible working culture only to allow it for some people but not others, and reprimand anyone in the latter group who tries to make use of one of the few advertised benefits.


  6. "Great workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst
    Former Employee - Business Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and good work balance

    Cons

    Nothing bad to say apart that it ended due to the redundancies happening at the time


  7. "Good for learning, not earning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get to learn a lot, albeit with a strong learning curve.

    Cons

    The pay isn't that great compared to what one can make with competitors, and teams are often under-staffed.

    2016 was a record year in terms of revenue and profitability according to CEO, and PPD outperformed most competitors, yet the pay rises and bonuses handed out in 2017 were derisory at best.

    Advice to Management

    For a company that is incredibly profitable, spend a bit more on employees and sensible business practices rather than a constant state of cost cutting.

  8. "If their lips are moving it's a clear sign they are lying to you..."

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

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time

    Pros

    Reasonable benefits and pension. Some good business colleagues can still be found outside of IT.

    Cons

    Are you a US veteran?
    Are you based in North Carolina?
    Do you have little or no technical IT knowledge?
    Do you value pedantic adherence to policies and processes over tangible results?
    Are you happy to fire long serving, competent staff, if cheap offshore resources can be found?
    Do you thrive in a toxic, political, blame driven environment?
    Will you blindly agree with everything your managers say?
    Will you support IT leadership in the removal of any employees that dare to seek flexible working arrangements?
    If you can answer yes to all of these questions then PPD will be a great place for you to work.
    If you value trust, honesty, openness, and results then this might not be the place for you.
    If you are in an eastern European location, that was once perceived to be low cost, watch out. Your ‘leaders’ have identified that India is cheaper. Layoffs will be coming to an office near you soon.

    Advice to Management

    Stop paying lip service to the lie that 'our people are our most valuable asset' while your ongoing actions indicate the complete opposite.


  9. "HRIS Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good company to work with.

    Cons

    Flexibility option was great as I started as a fresher.


  10. "Pharma Pro's and Con's"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in London, England
    Former Employee - Director in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pharmaceutical Product Development full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fast paced exciting environment to work in with good benifits

    Cons

    Senior management lack key skills when dealing with workforce and do not communicate

    Advice to Management

    Rectify the above


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