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Let’s Talk Clinical Research Organization (CRO)

And the winner of the Worst “CRO” goes to?

Did you think I would tell? Besides, you would think it is my opinion and not a fact. I spent most of my career working directly with sponsors (pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies and healthcare organizations) in their goal to submit drugs for FDA approvals.

So why would I think clinical research organizations aka CROs are that bad? They help sponsors with tasks, they themselves do not have the capacity or the resources or the time for.

Let’s examine some CROs (names replaced):

CRO Q: Back in the day, I used to hear ex-employees of this CRO talk about this CRO as “a  sweatshop (or sweat factory)”. It was a good place to gain experience and move on. This CRO is still in business and with a lot of sponsor’s project. I guess, things just stay the same as long as it does not hit the bottom line ‘$$$$$‘.

CRO T: This CRO has been around under multiple names. As soon as their employees hear the phrase ‘we lost a big project’ or ‘we are about to merge again’, employees move on or leave this company.

CRO C: This CRO model is to leased out their own staff (more like a recruitment agency) than a CRO. I used to know someone who was transferred from Europe to USA under this CRO. Eventually, my friend move on into a pharma client and it is happy ever since. Why would anyone want to work for this CRO and let them leased out your skills and services when you could just register as a business and do it yourself?

If you google around, you will see many questions about salary, interviews, and career options but there are no discussion of the various work environments you might encounter at a CRO.

CRO B: I briefly worked for this small CRO and let me tell you. It has got to be the worst experience yet. Not only managers are like total control-freaks aka ‘micro-management’ but their unhealthy work environment can make you sick (open-floor). There was no sense of team work. How can you work on this kind of environment? I prefer consulting, home-based projects for reasons like this one.

I have no time for bad-managers.

CRO P: The people at this CRO that have been there the longest are the ones that make it such a horrible place to work and there are only a few of them. High turnover CRO with a passive aggressive/sabotaging culture.

CRO I: What happened to the word ‘paperless’? Instead, manual review, re-work and more paper is available. In the world where technology has advanced, this CRO still using old technologies where paper-based process are implemented for EDC-based clinical trials.

CRO P: If you have a degree in chaos, a knack for scapegoating and the top notch ability to kiss the clients ass, this is the place for you. I am not saying this, by the way. I found it online and it sure made me laugh.

CROs All: These CROs who want you to account for every minute of your day. They produce nothing, they leased out your skills and experience to the sponsors. If the sponsor goes, you might be laid off.

Discussing our clinical research experiences at different CROs is the bread and butter of this industry. With so many outsourcing, mergers, who could you work for?

As one CRA posted online “deciding which CRO to call home in the current job booming environment is more difficult than before. The CROs (especially the mid-size and large ones) are filling up all the Internet job search websites with their multiple job postings. And if you talk to any of the recruiters, they will confirm that the company they represent is the best fit for you, they value their people, have an excellent health/dental/vacation day package, and have the hard to find “work/life balance” that eludes us all. Well, the sad truth is that there is no ideal CRO fitting that description. Oh, some have their merits (and some are better than others, for sure), but ideal they are not.”

I could not have agreed better with her point of view. With all the mergers and changes in the industry in the last few years, there is a new landscape to explore.

CROs have a bad reputation for ‘high turnover’. It is too bad that this issue of turnover is not addressed from the Top level. Management is probably too busy worrying about their multi-million dollars bonuses that what is going on at the office.

Good luck and hope this article brought you some insights to the clinical research world we live in.

For a better career solution, joining an employee-owned culture is best. There a few in the industry. I represent RA eClinica.

Our company was founded on the belief that those who contribute to the company’s success should own a stake in the company and benefit from its success. Because each of us has such a high degree of trust in one another we are all more motivated to please each other and to do excellent work. We are constantly striving for perfection, together.

If you want to take charge of your life, career and freedom, join us in this quest. Note that we are not a CRO nor an EDC vendor. We would like to think of us as ‘where Clinical Research meets Technology”.

Source: MedZilla

Source: LinkedIn Pulse

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