The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews | Glassdoor

The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews

Updated May 3, 2017
21 reviews

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2.0
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Ronald T Piervincenzi
5 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • In spite of its long history and critical role in public health and pharmaceutical standards, USP is not well-known (in 11 reviews)

  • Some of the senior management that did not function well under last CEO still here (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (15)

    "Blowing Smoke"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Manager in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    Are diminishing by the day

    Cons

    Work/life balance has all but disappeared. Newbies arrive thinking long-time staff is resistant to changes but they are actually the ones who are turning uo their noses to hard work and success that were accomplished long before their arrival. They assume they know more, are more qualified than the folks who did the heavy lifting before half of them even knew what a USP was. They also think their bringing "new" ideas and skill set. Same thing, different day. Little to nothing new except all the consultants, friends of Mckenzie. Some staff working hard for years, consistantly receives "exceeds" and "outstanding" performance evaluations but given no promotion. Not even given salary raise!! Secretaries getting promos and higher salaries than scientists. Faves of the CEO, CSO and other higher ups even though they don't have qualifications or experience, no college degree. Nepotism in full effect from day one with this CEO. Vast majority of hiring from outside. So much for promoting from within. Now directed everyone to slow spending but still paying consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars. HUGE waste of money. Won't last at this rate. Will be like 2008 all over again. While teachers pets will survive cuts hard working people will suffer for leadership lack of ability to properly manage. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

    Advice to Management

    This is not your personal chapter of a fraternity or sorority. This is neither a joke nor a ridiculous reality show. People's livelihoods and future are at stake. Stop with the fun and games and get serious about managing the organization properly so that SOMETHING significant is accomplished besides buying new office furniture or arranging yet another party. Drinking and dancing with your employees doesn't make you cool. You want to be cool? Stop dragging this out for your entertainment. Do the right thing. THAT would be cool because right now, you kind of suck.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Senior Account Mgr"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior International Account Representative in Burtonsville, MD
    Former Employee - Senior International Account Representative in Burtonsville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great organization in terms of what they do. Great pay.

    Cons

    No growth opportunities. Management lacks direction. Basically an old boys club. Sort of a high school mentality. The cool people sit at one table and the other people get made fun of. No interaction between groups. You will never have a chance to meet anyone important, they treat you likeep worker ants. Questioning your "eco" breaks. Monitoring your time by the seconds and not minutes. Micromanagent to the 10th power.

    Advice to Management

    Lift the glass ceiling and actually start to listen to employees about how they are being treated.

  3. Helpful (14)

    "Heading the wrong way"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Withheld in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Withheld in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The USP offers decent salaries and good benefits. There is tremendous diversity. The USP mission is well understood and universally adopted by the rank and file.

    Cons

    The current management has completely lost track of the mission. The Board of Trustees are completed dissociated with the organizational mission and therefore focus only on profits. The current McKinsey sourced leadership is focused on cost cutting, the bottom line, and biologicals. This is a non-profit organization with substantial reserves. All the excess profit finds its way to the management, not into programs that support the public health. The current USP agenda buts it in direct opposition to the FDA, the industry, and their customers. Their continued focus on profits over improving and growing their pharmaceutical standards provides great credence to the calls by big pharma to write them out of the law. With out dramatic changes to leadership and direction, the USP will soon be a historical footnote. Finally, many may view the USP as a stepping stone in a carrier, however, no one that has left USP in the past 5 years has found a position that would be considered as a step forward. Avoid this organization until McKinsey is gone. Until then random direction changes, job cuts, and organizational uncertainty are in story.

    Advice to Management

    To the Board: Your choice of CEO was ill advised. He has no vision and has filled the management posts with yes-men.
    To the CEO: your focus on cost cutting and appeasing big pharma spells disaster for USP. Reinvest in modernizing USP. Focus on the needs and desires of FDA. Stop listening to the lies coming from Marketing and listen first to your volunteers and scientific staff (a.k.a. Support the mission)
    To USP management and Staff: do not allow inept management steer you from what you know us best and what the organizational history tells you.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Senior scientist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Rockville, MD
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    International and diverse workforce, great benefits, competitive salaries. Significant analytical resources and good possibilities.

    Cons

    Organization still recovering from the disarray it was left by the previous CEO, and slowly progressing into a positive change. Hopefully it changes before people loose hope.

    Advice to Management

    Changes are needed! So, just do it before we loose hope.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Political Intrigue Abounds at USP"

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

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay and benefits were this organization's only appeal beyond small pockets of rank and file employees who truly cared about their jobs and the organization's noble mission.

    Cons

    Top management was primarily interested in playing games--finding fault with one other, derailing each other's projects and initiatives, or attempting to absorb part of each other's groups in an effort to build their empires. Many senior managers were totally incompetent and seemed to possess little or no understanding of their departments' workflows, schedules or goals. There was very little if any fiscal accountability within departments and I witnessed much waste. Bullying was encouraged by senior management in an effort to strong arm or intimidate other work groups to satisfy political agendas. Most alarming to me was the lack of clear goals and measurable goals and outcomes beyond exceeding the previous year's sales numbers for books and reference standards.

    Advice to Management

    The senior management needs to work together as a unit and not as independent despots. They also need to bridge the divide between science and the rest of the organization.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Must be the most schizophrenic organization (great staff, great mission, if upper management only would know)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    Lots of great, committed and smart people (mostly however only at mid-management and below)
    Great benefits for non-profit
    Such a great, compelling mission, who could not buy in that?
    International organization, lots of potential and opportunities
    Lots of science (good for the nerds)
    Could be a fantastic organization but mind the cons below

    Cons

    Current spending spree is unlikely to be sustainable
    Most investments occur in international sites (without any efforts to integrate all sites)
    Board mostly absent
    Most of upper management fail to connect to employees
    Silos, silos, and did I mention silos (or think about even smaller entities than silos)
    And where there are no silos, there are way too many firewalls
    Isolation of activities, no congruent and comprehensive strategic approach
    Most what is presented as strategy is tactical stuff at best
    Unpredictability of which whim of the day will be wafting down from the C-level
    Decisions (at most of C-level) are made without any effort to gain buy-in and where attempts for consultations are faked any information, knowledge, advice shared is blatantly ignored
    CEO in a position of almost absolute control and fully taking advantage of that resulting in an imperial, totalitarian, absolutarian, micro-managerial style (it is that bad) originating from CEO and (unsurprisingly) copied by most but very few upper managers

    Advice to Management

    Your employees actually care very much about the organization, its mission and its products; they just would like to be proud of it too. Any and all help would be a good start. Any sign of appreciation you could throw in for good measures would make a nice change. Most of all, you are leading an organization of very educated and dedicated staff; showing any sign of respect for that would be a another great initiative. Your employees may have something to add, and at the very least they deserve some efforts from their managers to gain their buy-in.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Impartiality for public health and saftey over profits of a private, not-for-profit incorporation."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist II in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist II in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A common mission to form a more perfect union of authority for precise and accurate informative guidelines for the arts of pharmacy practices protecting the public health with purity, quality, efficacy of pharmacuetical standards and their related devices.

    Cons

    When profit obfuscates the mission of public health and saftey from the casualty of partiality and self-interests of the corparate over preservation of the corporal.

    Advice to Management

    People will endure. Profits will perish.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Gross, imperial mismanagement -- all about the money rather than the public health mission"

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

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    Compensation (salary and benefits) are well above most comparable non-profits, especially for those in senior management.
    Great facilities in Rockville, MD and several overseas sites
    Wonderfully diverse staff and really important public health mission

    Cons

    Imperial-style management, driven by a controlling CEO who gets whatever he wants
    Board is informed about the trivia and is misled willfully , demonstrates no business sense, and truly has no understanding of how his behavior and his colleagues' self-enriching acquiesence offends FDA, prominent international agencies, and not least of all -- the organization's many very talented and committed employees. This, despite awful public health-related decisions and a recall of the organization's most prized collection of standards relied upon by regulators, manufacturers, and consumers of prescription and non-prescription drugs. The CEO is a total disaster area. HIs senior managers are partners in his exploits by enabling them or by their silence--which is essentially bought by providing them with salaries frequently exceeding $350,000 and much more..

    Advice to Management

    The Board should fire the CEO, the COO, if not the rest of the senior management team. (Check out the turnover rate of senior managers who don't play the game.) The Board should hire a firm to help bring in a competent CEO and the organization will take off. Employee morale would skyrocket. and the public's health would be much better served.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Poor senior management with no room with dissension"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are excellent- generous 401k contributions, tuition reimbursement, health care, etc. This is a huge reason that people stay at this company and also a big part of the reason it is voted one of the best non profits to work for. There are many very experienced and smart people working here and the employees are extremely diverse.

    Cons

    Senior management is a complete embarrassment. One person runs the ship and ship goes willy nilly where ever he likes. If you don't agree you're thrown overboard. There is no expectation that senior management needs to act appropriately or competently in public, with stakeholders, or at any time as far as I can tell. The company is stuck in its ways in terms of technology, which keeps it from being competitive and fosters poor communication and silo-ing between departments and divisions.

    Advice to Management

    Work on stability, bring in business oriented leadership, improve the awful morale, and put some HR policies in place that value current employees rather than outside hires


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Historic organization with a strong public health mission - but watch out for falling rocks."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits and stability. You could work there your entire career - if you wanted to - without working very hard at all. Government mentality, 37.5 hour work week. Half-days on Friday during the summer.

    Cons

    Poor leadership. Lack of accountability. What the CEO wants, the CEO gets, even if it makes zero business sense. Disagree at your own risk. Headed for trouble with the pharma industry. Could be obsolete in the next 5-10 years.

    Advice to Management

    Doesn't matter. They wouldn't listen anyway.


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