The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews | Glassdoor

The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews

Updated October 16, 2017
23 reviews

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3.0
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Ronald T Piervincenzi
1 Rating

23 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits, good work life balance for most workers (in 12 reviews)

  • Great benefits package (health/vision/dental, 401k, FSA) (in 17 reviews)

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 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits, so-so environment"

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

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    The benefits can't be beat. Salaries are average market value. Work is stable, not subject to outside contracts. Knowledgeable and dedicated staff.

    Cons

    Managers are promoted based on knowledge, political savvy, and experience. As a result, some managers are lacking in people skills. Changeable environment requires strong adaptation skills. If you want to get ahead, you must play politics and network, network, network. Doing your job well and reliably is not enough.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits for a nonprofit...generous vacation leave, good health insurance, flexible schedule, talented staff.

    Cons

    Rigid management, not involving lower staff in decision affecting company, more of a scientists organization, less of pharmacist and medical professionals although they have them as members of the board.

    Advice to Management

    Be more involved with the lower level staff and listen.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "A good company to work for a short-term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    Good people, good benefits, good building, lots of free food and coffee, free employee training, free parking

    Cons

    Low salary, limited opportunities for career development, insecurity and lack of qualifications among mid-level managers

    Advice to Management

    Executive management should evaluate the performance of some mid-level managers who are old-timers and lack qualifications and knowledge to effectively lead their groups.


  4. Helpful (10)

    "Chaos"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefit package is great, but every year we pay a little more for a little less.

    Cons

    Decisions made by upper management aren't being fully vetted bevore they're put out to the market. We don't have the resources to support the vertical growth rate.

    Middle management isn't doing a very good job communicating both to their staff and upper management, leaving a gaping hole in expectations, and creating chaos.

    Advice to Management

    Take the employee survey responses to heart.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good company, not the best higher level management"

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, good work life balance for most workers

    Cons

    Sound upper management in this organization was lacking. They were quick to reorganize and shuffle things up, only to repeat the cycle a few weeks/months later.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good Experience; Decent Environment; Room for improvement with management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of scope for training and learning; Great compensation with benefits; Working for a company that supports a good cause and makes a positive impact

    Cons

    Depends on your department (poor low-mid level mgmt in my specific area)


  7. Helpful (17)

    "Lots of change, much of it not for the best"

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

    I worked at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time

    Pros

    Some really good people work at USP. They are the biggest asset, though the company seems oblivious to that. Scientists and computer programmers have a defined path for promotion, but not others. There is an admirable mission toward supporting public health.

    Cons

    USP is in a continual state of flux. Since the new CEO came two years ago, the organization is on an unrelenting trajectory of "strategic realignment", much of which seems to be moving in circles. There is some good intent behind this, but most of it seems without purpose. There's been a huge hiring effort at the upper management level, while we're supposedly moving from a vertical hierarchy to a more flat one. It defies logic! The focus has become very profit-driven, unusual for a non-profit. The focus has gone from achieving excellence to "high performance", with no agreement on what that means. It seems like it's more about telling people to run faster and harder without understanding the performance expectations. It's all subjective.

    I was at USP for over a decade, but I decided to get out. I fear for the future of this organization which is spending money on things that make the exterior look good, while the core is rotting away. Work-life balance is a thing of the past.

    Advice to Management

    Change can be good and necessary when implemented in logical increments that are understood by the staff. But that's not happening. Be more inclusive when implementing changes that impact peoples' work and wellbeing...make treating staff with respect a part of the mission.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Moving On"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director
    Current Employee - Director
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits, salary, flexibility, and colleagues

    Cons

    Perpetual change, limited growth opportunities


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Hit or Miss (depends on what department you're in)"

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

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great compensation and benefits - maybe the best you'll have in your career. As a large organization, it's possible to change jobs within the organization. Possible to maintain a work life balance in the right position. There are some really high quality people working here.

    Cons

    They're afraid to fire people who shouldn't be there anymore; if someone can't do the work anymore, they're simply allowed to continue working while responsibilities are taken away and put onto other people or they're shuffled to another department. Senior leadership needs a bit of cleaning out, since they're slow to adapt and many of their departments are incredibly behind on streamlining (so many organizational processes are inefficient), embracing simple technology (a very paper-oriented office still), and continually keeping people who long ago should have been let go. If you're in the right group/right department, though, things can flow very smoothly.

    It's a very McKinsey-driven organization - to the point that employees refer to sweeping organizational changes as "being McKinseyed." Whether this is good or bad will depend on your view of McKinsey and whatever they are currently touting as how work environments and business models should look.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline processes, embrace technology that will help improve workflow, clean out the VPs and directors whose departments or groups aren't functioning well - stop reshuffling them and assigning them new titles. Too many people have been put in charge of systems and employees who shouldn't have been.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Solid science, polarizing managment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and great opportunity to build professional networks in pharmaceutical and dietary supplement areas. While management has a lousy history, it is slowly improving.

    Cons

    The historical management of USP is a sad story that you will see detailed in other reviews. It struggles finding a way to measure it's impact and spins its wheels (and has wasted a lot of resources) as a result. is slowly getting better, but at the expense of a feeling like a for-profit corporation instead of a non-for-profit public health organization. Remains highly political for such a small organization.

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving in the direction that you are headed, but don't forget that good science and public health cannot always be monetized.


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