The Top 8 Pharma Companies to Work for

March 24, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Recently, Fortune magazine sorted through a list of 1,500 companies from the Fortune 1,000 and non-U.S. companies in its Global 500 database, ranking the Top 50 Most Admired Companies, from a list of the top 340 companies. BioSpace then filtered that list of 340, focusing on the top eight pharmaceutical companies.

Fortune and its survey partners, Korn Ferry Hay Group, ranked each of the companies on nine parameters: Innovation, People Management, Use of Corporate Assets, Social Responsibility, Quality of Management, Financial Soundness, Long-Term Investment Value, Quality of Products and Services and Global Competitiveness.

Survey participants were executives, directors and analysts, who used those nine parameters and provided a rank, which was then consolidated into a single score. The companies were then contacted to provide insight into why they believe they are one of the top companies to work for.

Here BioSpace presents an interpretation of that ranking as it applies to large pharma companies, recognizing these companies as the top eight large pharmaceutical companies to work for.

Top 8 Pharmaceutical Companies To Work For
Johnson & Johnson
New Brunswick, N.J.
Pharm Country
Basel, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland
Bristol-Myers Squibb
New York, N.Y.
Pharm Country
Kenilworth, N.J.
Pharm Country
Foster City, Calif.
Biotech Bay
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Biotech Beach
New York, N.Y.
Pharm Country

1. Johnson & Johnson

Score: 7.6
Johnson & Johnson is made up of more than 265 operating companies in more than 60 countries. The company employs about 126,500 people, with its worldwide headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. According to the Fortune 500 analysis, Johnson & Johnson is the fastest growing of the big pharma companies, and is noted for its innovation. Johnson & Johnson reported 2015 revenues of $74.3 billion with a market value of $279.7 billion as of March 31, 2015.

“When it comes down to it, it’s about working for a company that shares your values,” said Kristen Mulholland, vice president, Human Resources, Pharmaceuticals Group, Johnson & Johnson. “At Janssen, we are constantly searching for new and better ways to treat, prevent, intercept and cure disease. The opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, combined with our commitment to advancing science, attracts a strong and diverse group of like-minded individuals. And, as part of Johnson & Johnson, the largest and most diversified family of healthcare companies, we offer employees a myriad of opportunities for career growth.”

2. Novartis

Score: 7.3
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis as it exists now came about in 1996 after the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz. Novartis has three primary global divisions focused on pharmaceuticals, eye care and generics. Novartis develops new drugs and markets products in oncology, primary care and specialty medicines. As part of Novartis, Alcon offers eye care products, and Sandoz is a global leader in generics, which focuses on Retail Generics, Biopharmaceuticals and Oncology Injectables, and Anti-Infectives. Novartis employs about 118,700 people worldwide and in 2015 reported revenue of $50.4 billion.

3. Roche

Score: 7.2
Also headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, or Roche Holding AG , is a global healthcare company with two primary divisions, Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. Genentech is a wholly owned affiliate, as well as the Japanese biotechnology company Chugai Pharmaceuticals, and Tucson, Ariz.-based Ventana . Roche employs about 88,509 people worldwide.

“Working at Roche means working for one of the world’s leading healthcare companies with combined strengths in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals,” says Maggie Weston, Group Head of Attraction & Sourcing. “Roche has been committed to providing innovation-based healthcare solutions for 120 years now. Working at Roche means collaborating with inspiring colleagues across the world, all driven by a strong sense of purpose to improve the lives of millions of patients. Our people are very proud about what we accomplish together and enjoy coming to work.”

4. Bristol-Myers Squibb

Score: 7.1
Headquartered in New York City, Bristol-Myers Squibb employs about 25,000 people. The company focuses on key therapeutic areas, including oncology, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Bristol-Myers Squibb reported sales in 2015 of $16.6 billion, after spending $4.04 billion on research and development. Bristol-Myers Squibb has facilities worldwide, including operations in Belgium, China, England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the U.S.

“People join Bristol-Myers Squibb because they are passionate about working for patients,” said Ann Judge, Global Head of Human Resources, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We empower our people to pursue innovation and challenge the status quo. Our diverse global team is reflective of an inclusive culture that appreciates differences and embraces new ideas.”

5. Merck

Score: 7.0
With headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., Merck & Co. reported $39.5 billion revenue in 2015 and employs about 70,000 people worldwide. The company’s core product categories include diabetes, oncology, vaccines and hospital acute care. Merck’s research focuses on cancer, hepatitis C, cardio-metabolic disorders, antibiotic-resistant infections, and Alzheimer’s disease. Merck spends $6.6 billion on research and development annually. Merck currently has 11 programs in Phase II trials, including Alzheimer’s, asthma, solid tumors, Hodgkin lymphoma, diabetes and others as well as 25 programs in Phase III, for allergy, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, Ebola, and others. Five Merck programs are currently under review, such as MK-6072 for Clostridium difficile infection, MK-1293 in Europe for diabetes, and MK-5172A in Europe for Hepatitis C.

“Our company has a proud heritage of innovation—not only the inventions that happen in our research labs, but innovations that help solve the world’s greatest global health care challenges,” said Mirian Graddick-Weir, executive vice president, Human Resources at Merck. “The significant contributions that Merck has made to human and animal health would not be possible without our incredibly talented employees. As we seek to build on our rich 125 year legacy, we are looking for the world’s top, diverse employees who have a passion for applying the best science to develop medicines and vaccines that save and improve lives and make a lasting impact on global health to help the world ‘be well.’”

6. Gilead

Score: 6.9
Headquartered in Foster City, Calif., Gilead employs about 7,900 people and has a major presence in antiviral drugs used to treat HIV, hepatitis B and C, and influenza. Gilead is also working on pulmonary diseases. Gilead’s major drugs include Harvoni and Sovaldi for Hepatitis C, Tamiflu, and Macugen for age-related macular degeneration. Gilead has operations worldwide, including Europe, North America, South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. The company has an extensive pipeline in HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, hematology/oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation and respiratory, as well as pipeline products for diabetic nephropathy and GS-5734 for Ebola infection.

“Our employees have the opportunity to transform and simplify care for people suffering from life-threatening diseases around the world. Each of our colleagues regardless of geography or function plays an integral and visible role in supporting this mission,” said Katie Watson, executive vice president, Human Resources, Gilead.

7. Amgen

Score: 6.6
Amgen is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif. and employs about 17,900 people and reported about $21.7 billion of revenue in 2015. Amgen spends about $3.9 billion on research and development annually and focuses on areas of high unmet medical needs with a significant presence in cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease and other serious illnesses. Amgen has a presence in about 75 countries worldwide. Products include Enbrel, Kyprolis, Neulasta, Neupogen, Prolia, Repatha, and others. Amgen currently has 14 drug candidates in Phase I, eight in Phase II programs, and 12 in Phase III. Amgen also has six disclosed and three undisclosed biosimilar programs.

8. Pfizer

Score: 6.3
Pfizer currently has headquarters in New York City. However, Pfizer is in the process of merging with Allergan , which will give it a corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Global operations will be in New York with principal executive offices in Ireland. The deal is worth $160 billion. Right from the beginning, executives from both companies indicated the likelihood of eventually breaking the merged companies into two companies, one focused on generics and well-established drugs, and the other more focused on research and development and the marketing of higher-growth drugs. Allergan’s pipeline includes more than 70 mid-to-late stage development products in urology, gastrointestinal, anti-infective, eye car, aesthetics and dermatology, women’s health, central nervous system, and the always popular “other.” The merged company will have a combined pipeline of more than 100 mid-to-late stage programs. Combined, the new Pfizer will employ about 130,000 people worldwide.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - March 24, 2016.
Sign up for the free bi-weekly Career Insider eNewsletter.

Back to news