Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews

Updated 9 Nov 2019

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3.4
59%
Recommend to a Friend
73%
Approve of CEO
Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
150 Ratings
Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (6)

    "Going at 90mph is exhilarating but will break you down"

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

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, resources, cafeteria. Seaport is tricky commute but they help with lots of options. Tries to be progressive and modern. Incredibly smart, talented and hard working scientists. Collaborative and friendly people. The science is fast and free flowing. Good culture and values EXCEPT work/life balance.

    Cons

    Speed and burnout culture. 50-60hrs every week is almost standard among scientists. Pay seems good but calculate the $/hr and it's actually not very competitive at all. Almost no technicians/associates so most people will be toiling in the lab while a select few (usually white men) will be plucked into leadership/visibility roles. Pace often results in the fast thing being done over the smart/long term/careful thing... such as brute force experiments. They are super proud of diversity numbers but closer inspection it's all at the lower levels; project/senior leaders are almost exclusively white and mostly male. Overall, it often feels like a well paid postdoc, scientifically rewarding but a pyramid scheme based on burnout, privilege, networking and luck.

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    Advice to Management

    Pace is often great but stop fetishizing it above everything and recognize the cult of "pace" has costs too. You cannot simultaneously say you value diversity and all people but then rig your system so the best (only?) way to succeed is for research scientists to work a 60 hour week (which favors men and young single people). Good ideas and decisions do not come from exhausted, rushed, overstretched scientists.... Diversity is not something to be proud about if it means your white male research "Rock Stars" are built on the backs of underappreciated minorities and women.

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    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-11-09
  2. Helpful (11)

    "NOT the best place to work"

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Benefits, although Boston area biotech is competitive and others will likely match

    Cons

    Smart people don’t stay long, and those that do stay are unhappy. Very disorganized. Management dictates everything, changing their minds all the time and expecting everyone to comply, no questions asked. Pipeline too diverse; management shooting in all directions; unfocused

    Advice to Management

    Vertex boasts as ranked “best places to work” - we all know how these rankings are decided. A place that is truly a best place to work is determined by its current and former employees, and what they have to say- Vertex does not have a good reputation with former employees; and it seems current employees stay because of the benefits- you either stay 10+ years because hard to leave money on the table, or leave within... 1-2 years when you realize this is not a good workplace. Advice to management- invest in your employees and give them more freedom to do the work. Invest in retaining employees, and maybe the smart ones will stay. Good luck, you’ll need it.

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    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-10-31
  3. "Great benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    excellent benefits package and overall compensation

    Cons

    high stress on every project, no matter how small

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-10-17
  4. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Executive Assistant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Innovative atmosphere - great salaries and top notch benefits.

    Cons

    Office location and the commute are very, very difficult

    Advice to Management

    More work from home opportunity

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-10-01
  5. Helpful (11)

    "If you want to join a cult where conformity is expected, join Vertex."

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Honestly thinking about this and I would say there’s a few shining stars here, too bad they won’t be advanced to senior leadership though.

    Cons

    The fact that Vertex actively tried to convince me that I would have a hard time pivoting to another company Vertex made it clear that they’re fine looking a blind eye to family / friend applicants, especially those connected to senior leadership Don’t expect this place to provide much support or camaraderie after you leave, like I said, that’s how a “CULT” would act If you don’t fit their definition of what... “success” looks like, you won’t last here (ie privileged, elite university, conformist, and non-Confrontational). They want “Yes” people, not innovators Don’t believe that you’re encouraged to challenge authority or voice your opinion even if it’s controversial, it’s a trap! This company filters out the survey responses to just FTE workers to ensure they get positive ratings, but soon the truth will come out

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    Advice to Management

    Try being more aware of what’s going on at all levels of the company; it’s very easy to obliviously think everything is great, especially when the organization puts more emphasis on rankings and accolades, rather than their employee happiness. Stop being so concerned about looking good on the outside, because once talented people join they’ll leave just as fast due to false pretenses.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-10-26
  6. Helpful (17)

    "Sometimes Diversity is Discriminatory"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Had some great years here until the new crew took over.

    Cons

    Currently it is a rudderless ship full of manipulative self promoting snakes. If you are a white male BEWARE. Their diversity model does not include you. In fact, the more they hold down, the more "diverse" they appear. Best move I made was leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck. The Boston area is about to get much more competetive and you people are going to have difficulty hiring legit workers instead of shmoozers.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-09-19
  7. Helpful (22)

    "STOP!"

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    -Benefits -Pay -Location -Some people are smart and fun to be around

    Cons

    -Work/life balance STILL non-existent -Required to multitask to ineffiency and burn out -The churn of logistics disables the science -Constant chaos, constant sprint, very disorganized

    Advice to Management

    To top management: STOP! We.need.more.mid-level.scientists.in.CMC.to.work.here.to.meet.the.timelines.otherwise.slow.them.down! Stop putting CMC management in a bind! Without CMC you have NOTHING to put into the clinic, NOTHING! Hire more full time, mid-level employees at RSL! Why do you think your model works to keep burning people out? It is NOT productive, NOT sustainable, and A COMPLIANCE RISK! Stop making... people stressed out and suffer, causing them to lash out at their direct reports, peers, and their own management!

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    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-09-12
  8. Helpful (23)

    "Want a life? Don't work here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Benefits, PTO, compensation, location, facilities

    Cons

    - Some parts of the company work all the time - including Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you're not working nights and weekends, you're "not committed." - Outdated model of needing to see "butts in the chair" despite the craziness this causes employees (who are working around the clock) - Lack of leadership in some functions - Micromanagement from all levels of leadership, yet senior managers are overwhelmed and... can't make decisions - Favoritism

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    Advice to Management

    None - They're not interested in what the peanut gallery thinks.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-09-09
  9. Helpful (21)

    "All talk, no walk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - GMDA in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits: -10%+ yearly bonuses with 20-50% stock awards that vest over 3 years. -4 weeks vacation to start and company shut down between Christmas and New year -$300/month commuter benefit, charitable donation matching, and $125/month student loan payment  -401k is just OK with 100% match for up to 3% and 50% match for an additional 1-3% I am lucky that I work on a team with a manager who is... supportive, empathetic, and reasonable. The people I work closest with are smart, helpful, and generally easy to work with. Like most places, your experience will vary depending on the department and immediate team. Vertex as a whole is extremely successful, and I take pride in working for a company that focuses on rare genetic diseases and research.

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    Cons

    All the comments about senior management in GMDA are spot-on. The comment about adding barriers instead of value is particularly accurate. Extra layers of process and review add inefficiencies and confusion. Decision makers are either unresponsive, unreasonable, or can't agree with each other. They also want their hands in every. little. thing.  Vertex talks a big talk about wanting to support its employees, help... them grow, maintain work-life balance, "push decision making down and out" (please), but never follows through. There is a lot of unnecessary pressure and finger-pointing that leads to fear and burnout. They badger and bribe employees to complete an "optional" development plan so that they can say they got 100% participation and claim they did something to support employee development; whether the content of these plans is actually useful is another story. Vertex also talks big about innovation and excellence, but, in my department in particular, opportunities are decided by seniority instead of merit. I am told time and again that I'm ahead of my peers who have been here longer, and yet they get most of the choice projects and growth opportunities. People are ridiculously sensitive about fairness.

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    Advice to Management

    You can't keep pushing drugs through the clinic at back-breaking speed by having employees work (and re-work) endlessly. You need to get MORE EFFICIENT. Stop changing things at the last minute. Establish clear processes and STICK TO THEM. Listen to your seasoned workers and you might actually get it right the first time. Invest in technology. 

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-08-24
  10. "Best work culture within Big Pharma"

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

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Simply the best work culture due to co-located team, strong internal cross-functional rotations, price premium in monopoly market and good leadership

    Cons

    Might not be the most digitally savvy, because of the lack of competition in current therapeutic areas

    Advice to Management

    Never let hold of your work culture. Be careful while hiring new people with string technical expertise that can help manage categories like pain, but lacks Vertex values.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals2019-09-20
Found 316 reviews