The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews | Glassdoor

The United States Pharmacopeia Reviews

Updated March 26, 2017
12 reviews

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4.0
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Ronald T Piervincenzi
3 Ratings

12 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 (1)

    "A good company heading in a good direction"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Overall
    - Open about communications and where the company is heading
    - Sincerely focused on process improvements and engaging, empowering employees
    - A good culture with passionate people focused on the mission
    - Great benefits, competitive salaries, and a good employee recognition system

    Personally, I feel lucky to have a great director and VP focused on the mission and modeling the company's core values. This is probably shaping how positive my review is compared to others on this site.

    I know the company has undergone a lot of changes and being adaptable while maintaining a sense of perspective definitely helps. Overall my experience has been very positive.

    Cons

    - Teams could be a bit tighter on project management/accountability and seeing the bigger picture/embracing new ways of doing things. Both new and more tenured folks need to meet each other halfway. This isn't really a con as I haven't yet been in an organization undergoing rapid change where that wasn't true.
    - I do wish teams embraced technology a bit more. In some cases there's almost a sense of stubborn pride in refusing to engage with digital tools.

    Advice to Management

    - A good balance of lean and design thinking/local empowerment will help teams. (You are on the right path here.)
    - Remind folks at the GLT level to consider broader impacts of projects and go to the frontline to observe/understand before rolling out initiatives that don't fully consider pain points and barriers. You can have the most genius processes in the world, if you don't consider hearts as well as minds, you will struggle with buy-in.


  2. "Developer III"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Good people. Good benefits. Good culture.

    Cons

    Expensive location to live and work. Upward mobility feels limited.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "View from a long-time employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Director in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I've seen much at USP having been here for over a decade. We are finally (finally) looking at USP, our operations, our impact, and our possibilities logically, positively, and urgently (yes, urgent). Our goals are very ambitious and there is a huge amount of support to get us there. The last year has been the hardest in my history at USP (except for the year of the US financial crisis). Hard, yes. Exciting, challenging, and rewarding - totally.

    Cons

    USP is in a transition, clearly. Transitions take time. The biggest issue I see is that the old culture or "keep your heads down and the change will pass, and I can keep doing the same thing I used to do" just isn't going to work anymore. In my opinion, it is the science division that is struggling the most with this transition, and I do not see the leadership - either at middle or upper levels, handling it well. At USP, science is the core of the core. If this area continues to resist change, we are not going to make our ambitions.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate better your vision (and not through the HR department) and how we are going to get there.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "A lot of change for the better happening"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    USP is transforming into a global public health organization from one that was more insular. It is still science focused but also adapting to the fact that it's mission requires a lot more engagement with the public health community. Most people at USP are committed to making a major impact on health. A few are there for the formerly slow and steady pace. Today, most of us are energized by the transformation. If you want to make a difference, work with interesting colleagues in a place that is growing, this may be the place for you.

    Cons

    There is an enormous level of change happening now. From my perspective, it is all exciting. But, it is a lot.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work but consider the pace of change. Make sure not to forget to always communicate that the change is all about executing on the quality and public health mission.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great Compensation (incl. Benefits) and reward system"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative in Temple Hills, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative in Temple Hills, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Overall a great company to work for considering their mission to improve setting standards for medicines around the world as well as helping to cut down or eliminate fraudulent production and distribution of medicines. Supervisor was always helpful, co-workers were ok, the benefits were excellent. Work and Life balance was very good also, the company in fact made great efforts to be as accommodating as possible to all its employees when it came to schedules (days off, holidays, vacation etc.); they offered family participation in company events. I also appreciated the fact that employees were officially recognized for outstanding work and rewarded accordingly. I hope that this will be continued in the future, as it boosts employee morale.

    Cons

    Sometimes it felt that the mission of the company got lost under pressure to keep the company running and to make money. Perhaps some restructuring might be needed in order to either downsize in management or to make processes efficient and speedy.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the mission of the company rather than profit.


  6. "Supportive, celebrates employee success, amazing people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Editor in Rockville, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The United States Pharmacopeia full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are amazing, but the best asset is the people. The company is very focused on a collegial culture and fostering relationships across silos. The focus on educational advancement is something not found anywhere else. Standards are very high, but there is a great process in place for training employees to meet them. Work/life balance and flexibility can't be beat.

    Cons

    It probably depends on departments, but there is little to complain about in the Information & Services division.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work in supporting employees.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great company with excellent benefits, decent pay, good people and a beautiful building. Do watch for occasional layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Recommends

    Pros

    Expect to work with highly educated people. Chances are, you will come across a scientist or five while working there, and many of the departmental folk possess a Masters. USP provides excellent benefits including three types of health packages, dental, visual (the best I've seen so far), health spending account, tuition reimbursement, professional certifications, training, summer hours, flexible work-schedules, metro subsidies, and a company gym.

    There is plenty of training for nearly any position you may apply for. Employees make sure you are well established and comfortable before piling on work (and there is plenty to be done). I did not feel the "hit the ground running" yolk, and I appreciate that immensely. Not many companies provide training at company expense nowadays, so this is definitely a plus.

    There are some perks as well - such as the fact that nearly everyday there is free food somewhere in that building! The company hosts many out of town guests, and as a result there are often catered breakfasts or lunches, as well as the occasional birthday cake. There are always Christmas and Halloween parties as well. People are generally fun there.

    The USP building is GORGEOUS. There are various state of the art meeting rooms, complete with plasma TVs and new computers. The conference room is absolutely beautiful. The lunch room is large, with plenty of microwaves and refrigerators, and a well kept courtyard for outdoor lunches. The building is high security. Everyone is required to have a key card to maneuver around the building.

    Salaries are decent, especially entry-level salaries.

    There is definitely opportunity for growth, especially since USP has multinational offices, and there are even plans to build one in Dubai.

    Cons

    The primary downside is perhaps the downside of MANY private companies - layoffs disguised as "department reorganizations". In the past two years many people were kicked off, some of them had worked there for 20+ years. Unfortunately, the lack of respect for seniority and loyalty is an issue.

    Temporary workers have a hard time there. They pay temps well, but they also fire them sometimes with only one hour notice.

    Most managers and especially supervisors are good. However, you can come across a couple of managers who are too "hands off" and as a result, they wait until the last minute to tell you bad news.

    If you work for the Publishing department, be aware of deadline crunches and overtime without pay. Many people work extra hours, and even weekends during deadlines, which are often.

    Advice to Management

    Incorporate your employees in the decision making a little more. Make sure your managers are amongst their employees - have them check in on employees from time to time. Don't get rid of people who have worked there for decades. If they are "behind the times", educate them - you do provide tuition reimbursement. There is no excuse.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Headed in the right direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great mission, strong science - new strategy, CEO will help provide better direction

    Cons

    Lots of change - may be hard for those not comfortable with ambiguity.

    Advice to Management

    Slow down and/ or manage change carefully


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Strong organization with a history of week leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and stability. Lot's of opportunities to move around in the organization to find something you like.

    Cons

    Advancement to management positions isn't easy unless you have a Ph.D. The organization values Ph.D.'s over anything else, which means that they overlook leadership qualities. This inevitably means they end up with leaders who are great at science and not much else. Ultimately, it stifles the growth of the organization and has a tendency to cultivate a passive-aggressive culture.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "It was a valuable experience but one that I will not duplicate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    You feel like you are making a difference working for such a great cause. They offer great benefits and the salary for most positions is above market level. But make sure to bargain for it a bit. Great team environment too.

    Cons

    The management was not the best, too much micromanagement. There is very little opportunity to grow, at least in the position and department that I was in.


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