It is a time of change, not only for the finance and automobile markets, but also for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical
industries. Even before the downturn in the world economy, drug makers were already facing big challenges, including drug
safety, patent expirations, and dwindling pipelines, and had started restructuring and conserving costs. The year 2008 witnessed
a constant stream of job cuts in the pharmaceutical sector, including layoffs at Merck (8,400 jobs), Schering-Plough (5,500
jobs), Wyeth (5,000 jobs), UCB Pharma (2,000 jobs), and Abbott (1,000 jobs). There has been a slew of job cuts at small- and
medium-sized biotechs as well.
During such times of change, almost everyone, at every level of the biopharmaceutical industry, is asking questions such as,
"What is the general outlook for the industry?" or "Will employment opportunities decrease in the future?" and "How will the
economic downturn affect me?" Besides charting the current trends in salaries—including the gender gap—in the biopharmaceutical
sector, BioPharm International's third annual salary survey explores these questions and more generally, finds out how secure biopharmaceutical professionals
are feeling in their jobs.
METHODOLOGY AND DEMOGRAPHICS
The salary survey was conducted by BioPharm International's corporate research department in the fall of 2008. The survey was emailed to 24,417 readers around the globe and generated
593 responses. To encourage participation, all subscribers who responded to the survey were entered into a drawing to win
one of five $100 gift cards. The maximum statistical error of the survey, at a 95% confidence level, is +4.2%. (Some percentages
may not add up to 100% because of rounding.)
The vast majority (64%) of survey respondents are from the US. Another 19% are from Europe, 8% are from India, and 5% are
from Canada. About half work in publicly traded companies, 37% in privately held firms, 5% in academic institutions, 5% in
government, and 2% in nonprofit organizations. About 1% of respondents are self-employed.
A little more than a third (37%) of respondents work in biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies, 15% in small-molecule pharmaceutical
companies with a biotech focus, 7% in contract manufacturing, and 7% in research institutes (Figure 1). Most of our respondents
work in fairly large companies: 50% work in companies with 1,000 employees or more, and another 10% work in companies employing
between 500 and 1,000 people.