Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews

Updated August 19, 2015
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
19 Ratings

Pros
  • Great benefits for full time employees (in 10 reviews)

  • The work-life balance is great, but it does depend on your group dynamics (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The company does actively promote that employees maintain a work-life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Senior management does not take care of lower level staff (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Very good to employees! They treat the temp employees just the same as the regular ones! Great cafeteria with a spectacular view of Boston on sunny days! Benefits are really good! Everyone seems super helpful -- if you ask someone a question and they don't know the answer, they will find it for you or give you clear directions on where you can find it.

    Cons

    Probably just that there is really no one-on-one training for your position. It is a "learn as you go" position which in some ways is good, because it makes you really pay attention, but in other ways it can be bad because instead of completing a task someone asks you to do right away, you have to find out first how to do it and/or where to find the instructions on how to do it!


  2. Great perks

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Coordinator II in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Coordinator II in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks and benefits - inexpensive health insurance, great vacation package, good salary and retirement plans, coffee and treats occasionally. Room for growth and promotion - which was encouraged. Easy commute - very close to the T.

    Cons

    While I was there, there was a round of layoffs and we lost a lot of hard workers. It was very sudden and unexpected, and difficult to fill in the gaps that were left by those that were let go.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing.


  3. Helpful (4)

    An abysmal company that reads a reset...

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I've worked in two separate R&D groups while at Vertex. There are few "pros" to working for this company. The benefits are decent. The medical coverage is slightly above industry average, legal insurance is offered and there are several other types of insurance which is offered (i.e. pet). A second "pro" is if you take the MBTA, your commute into south Boston is tolerable. If you drive, good luck. The rate of commercial/residential development in south Boston is astounding, which is slowly making the commute via personal transportation impossible. The new location is pretty. Third, some of your immediate co-workers are great although the environment is very cliquey. Some of the benefits, the commute/company location and some co-workers is really it.

    Cons

    There is absolutely no career development. None. Your day to day work is extremely niched. Once you have been at the company for a short bit, you simply become a technician that follows poorly written protocols and SOPs. Trying to break out of this niched work to professionally grow is tiresome and you will eventually be labeled as problematic. Your talents, professional interests and previous work experience really don't mean anything. Inept middle and upper management with no sense of professionalism. It is encouraged to "listen hard and debate hard". However, if you "debate hard" and work to come to a resolution that isn't part of your management's vision, you are talked down to and marginalized out of the work. The company's core values are rarely and selectively followed. Very little accountability and consistency amongst the management with concern to following the corporate values and the treatment of staff. The focus and direction of the workflows change on a weekly basis due to poor decision making and lack of accountability. This inept (current and former) management has lead to compliance issues within the company. Profitability and company sustainability. The company has been around for over a quarter century and profits are still not in the black. The product "pipeline" is referred to internally as more of a "trickling garden hose". It's great that CF is the company's primary focus, but there are no other therapeutic areas that are being focused on. The focus with projects in other (potential) therapeutic areas is erratic, poorly organized and extremely political. This leads to very high levels of stress, irrelevantly long days and staff burn out. Do your due diligence before applying here. There is an exodus with the staff due to the abysmal environment here. Firings, some seemingly random, are very common. Smart, independent and creative thinkers will eventually be viewed as non-compliant and will be dealt with accordingly. Be wary of the brief 5 star company reviews with this company as well. There is definitely some internal/external "reputation management" going on. It's a very small world in pharma here in Boston. Dig and ask around before applying for any R&D based position at Vertex. HR, the recruiters and the interviewers will make Vertex sound like utopia while it's just the opposite.

    Advice to Management

    Company needs an overhaul. People are leaving with every chance they get. The growth of staff has stalled with the firings and high number of resignations. The perception and illusion of progress and innovation is old and the staff aren't buying it. “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Ben Franklin


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  5. Helpful (1)

    VP, Human Resources

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people and the mission are great. Collaboration around the science and among colleagues from all backgrounds is exceptional

    Cons

    The leadership is challenged, and the long-term commitment to finding new therapies is questionable. A definite trend to become "big pharma", and stop innovating, is present, and starts at the very top.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Great benefits, committed people

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

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, value of work, innovative science. Depending on function, good people and opportunity to grow.

    Cons

    Politics, favoritism, some incompetent people, indecision and micromanaging from senior management

    Advice to Management

    Trust your people to make decisions or hire new ones. Don't allow favoritism to drive valuable employees away while the dregs flourish.


  7. Helpful (4)

    It *was* great

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The stock price is poised to go through the roof. Working on the edge of the financial district in the Innovation District is way cool.

    Cons

    The CEO and the rest of the C team are reviled for their exorbitant salaries. The price of Vertex's drugs is controversial. The Silver Line is so crowded, it's faster to walk to South Station. The politics are tough; if you get on the wrong side of someone powerful, there's no future for you. There's a solid chance that Vertex will get bought, in which case jobs will be lost.

    Advice to Management

    It was a great run, but Vertex can never again be the great little company with the loyal workforce. Too many long timers were let go in the name of cost cutting. It was great while it lasted...


  8. Helpful (6)

    Management disrespectful to employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Employee benefits are good - the stock awards are why people are hesitant to leave, vacation / time off at year end

    Cons

    Micromanagement, politics, devaluing employees, corporate greed, lying to employees, no training for new people without experience, two faced (corporate values sound good but they aren't lived)

    Advice to Management

    They've gotten all the feedback from employee surveys but don't care - just cash in on their stock and bonuses without regard to how to treat people


  9. Great benefits, breakthrough science, lots of politics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is truly inspiring to work on transformative medicines of this kind. Colleagues are very smart and generally hard-working. Benefits package is great.

    Cons

    Very political, top-down management, frequent meeting overload, often the processes in place are poorly designed and result in last-minute fire drills or lack of clarity regarding what needs to be delivered when.


  10. Innovative place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Vertex is willing to take risks by implementing cutting edge technology and has a fast-paced culture that is compatible with finding success in an inherently risky business. I enjoy working at Vertex because my work is on the forefront of my field and I am given enormous support to move forward with my ideas. The salary is good, and the benefits are unmatched.

    Cons

    The culture is fast-paced and not for everyone. Tight timelines are common at Vertex, and patience can often run out.


  11. Helpful (2)

    pharmacovigilance (PV)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits. Nice, modern location. If you like playing politics and are introverted and quiet with hierarchical mindset and you manage get in with the right clique it may be great for you. For most part there are really good, hard working people here.

    Cons

    This department is a revolving door. There is very limited science/medicine and no patient advocacy in this department but plenty of posturing and politics. Company (and department) is run from top down. There may be conflicting messages on what to do and how to do it which adds to the confusion because questioning authority in any capacity is discouraged.

    Advice to Management

    Try to encourage a more collaborative approach with and between your employees. Listen to those doing the work, they may actually help you. Improve communication all around. Be more tolerant of different working styles and repectful of others.



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