Horizon, Roche's Genentech, AbbVie and Neurocrine rank as top pharma places to work in annual poll

A whopping 97% of Horizon Therapeutics employees say it's a great place to work. It’s no wonder the company tops Fortune's annual list of best places to work in pharma and healthcare.

Horizon led Fortune and Great Place to Work's list, with Roche's Genentech, AbbVie, Neurocrine Biosciences and United Therapeutics rounding out the top five.

Horizon marks its fifth consecutive year among the top seven—and second time in the top spot. It jumped from last year’s number four and scored 99% to the question, “When I look at what we accomplish, I feel a sense of pride.” That’s well above the average U.S. company rating at 59%.

Horizon's swift and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to that satisfaction, Irina Konstantinovsky, chief human resources and chief diversity officer, said.

Its offerings included a quick move to give 12 weeks paid time off for employees who got sick or to care for someone who was sick. The same 12 weeks was also extended to medical professionals at Horizon who elected to volunteer to help in COVID-19 efforts.

Horizon also moved to help parent employees with a study club providing full-time e-learning for their school-age children.

“Supporting our employees in meaningful ways is a top priority, and this ranking reinforces our approach," Konstantinovsky said in an email, adding that the top ranking is an affirmation of Horizon's culture and "how we take care of employees, respond to patients and show up for our community."

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Last year’s No.1 , Roche’s Genentech, dropped into the No. 2 spot, but still, 92% of its employees ranked it as a great place to work. AbbVie came in third, followed by Neurocrine Biosciences. At Neurocrine, 98% of employees agreed that its "executives fully embody the best characteristics of our company.”

In the challenging pandemic year of 2020, the top rankings mark above-average achievement in employee satisfaction—and potential recruiting talking points.

Great Place to Work compiles the annual ranking for Fortune using anonymous surveys from more than 825,000 employees working in the U.S. healthcare and pharma industries. Respondents answered 60 questions aimed at painting a picture of why an organization is a great place to work—or not.

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A common theme among employees in healthcare and pharma is pride in the work they do. Among pharma employees the statement, "I'm proud to tell others I work here“ ranked consistently in the 90-percentiles.

"Drug discovery and development is not easy or linear," Julie Cooke, chief human resources officer at Neurocrine, said in an email. "There are fits and starts, unexpected turns and more failure than success. But we persist because we know the impact we can have on patients when we succeed.”