These sentiments are reflected in the responses to BioPharm International's fifth annual salary survey, which shows that biopharmaceutical professionals are working harder than they did last year with fewer resources, which has resulted in increased workload and higher stress levels.
ECONOMY WOES STILL EXIST
A California-based CMC professional says that M&As accentuate the reduced activity of research. "Lack of products reduces revenues and sales, and therefore, investment in R&D and that leads to reduction in resources," he says. He adds that the number of people per project has decreased in his company, there are hiring controls, and the company is replacing personnel selectively.
There are fewer people to work on projects, agrees the biopharmaceutical professional from Boston. "Our revenue was lower than expected this year, therefore the company would not have hired enough people dedicated to certain projects." His company recently eliminated a couple layers of management, so there are now fewer people to manage more people. He has seen a similar trend in other companies. "Companies are trying to get rid of redundancies so managerial levels are being skipped. For example, earlier, a senior manager had 2–3 reports but now those middle managers have been removed, and the same person now has 7–8 reports," he adds.
Similarly, a QA professional at a big pharma company in New Jersey says that there has been an internal reorganization at her company. "Our San Diego facility has been closed, and we are in the process of consolidating a few others," she says. Her company also has cut a number of its internal programs.
"We have to do everything extremely lean—not only lean manufacturing but also lean development," says the biopharmaceutical professional from Boston. "Last year, we looked at how to work smarter and leverage new technology to do the same or more work with less people." This lean approach has become a new baseline because there are now additional cost pressures that lead to downsizing, he adds.