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The pharma and biotech sectors continue to face rapid change. On one hand, top pharma employers have continued to face talent shortages as demand increases for experienced workers. But on the other, the pharma sector has not been immune to layoffs. One factor driving the trend is the increased clip of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, which can result in restructuring but also new job opportunities as companies sharpen their focus on pipeline gaps and developing novel therapeutics. The pharma industry is in the process of reassessing long-term strategies in domains such as sourcing, manufacturing and supply chain management, according to McKinsey. These trends have gained steam in recent years as a result of factors such as inflation, the ongoing pandemic, the shifting geopolitical climate and the development of novel therapeutic methods and new ways of working. The rapid evolution of the product landscape, which now includes treatment modalities such as cell and gene therapies, is also transforming the work environment for pharma employees. Pharma and biotech companies are now prioritizing the acquisition of new skill sets, the adoption of agile and collaborative approaches to R&D and production, as well as fostering digital and AI savviness among their employees.

[Also check out our spotlight on the top 10 pharma employers of 2023, which provides more detail on employee satisfaction, work-life balance and company culture among the leading organizations in the industry.]

Ranking the top pharma employers: Inside our ranking methodology

In this rating system, we created a matrix to rank pharmaceutical employers. We started by normalizing overall ratings from the employee company review sites Glassdoor and Comparably, assigning a weight of 0.7 to the former and 0.3 to the latter. The matrix also factors in employee perks, giving the dimension a weight of 0.1. We assigned bonus points (0.5 each) for companies recognized as top pharma employers in rankings from Indeed, Fortune and Forbes. Brian Buntz continue



Total rating

Primary factors contributing to score

1 Recursion Pharmaceuticals 6.84 Strong Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
2 Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical 6.595 High Glassdoor ratings. Outstanding Comparably reviews
3 Regeneron 6.09 Impressive Glassdoor ranking and benefits, cited in Indeed and Glassdoor ranking
4 Merck 6.06 Competitive Indeed, Fortune and Forbes rankings, solid Glassdoor rating. Also included among top Glassdoor employers for 2023.
5 Novartis Pharmaceuticals 5.64 Included in Indeed and Forbes rankings, good Glassdoor rating
6 Eli Lilly 5.46 Indeed and Forbes rankings, good Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
7 AstraZeneca 5.45 Strong Indeed ranking, good Glassdoor rating
8 GSK 5.45 Competitive Indeed ranking, robust Glassdoor rating
9 AbbVie 5.43 Included in Indeed ranking, good Glassdoor rating
10 Pfizer 5.41 Included in Indeed and Forbes rankings, good Glassdoor rating
11 Horizon Therapeutics 5.36 Robust Glassdoor ranking plus included in Indeed and Fortune rankings
12 Amgen 5.27 Included in Indeed and Forbes rankings, moderate Glassdoor rating
13 Janssen 5.23 Present in Indeed and Forbes rankings, decent Glassdoor rating
14 Genentech 4.99 Forbes ranking, solid Glassdoor and Comparably ratings, good CEO approval. Also included among top Glassdoor 2023 employers.
15 Boehringer Ingelheim 4.75 Included in Indeed ranking, good Glassdoor rating
16 Novo Nordisk 4.58 High Glassdoor rating, Forbes ranking
17 Incyte 4.52 Strong Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
18 Biogen 4.41 Solid Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
19 Karyopharm Therapeutics 4.33 Strong Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
20 Cipla 4.32 High Glassdoor rating
21 BioMarin Pharmaceutical 4.27 Strong Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
22 Dr. Reddy’s 4.27 Good Glassdoor and Comparably ratings
23 Kite Pharma 4.07 Good Comparably rating, fair Glassdoor rating
24 PTC Therapeutics 4 Fairly strong Glassdoor rating, robust CEO approval
25 Merck KGaA 3.76 High CEO approval and Glassdoor rating but weak Comparably score