Thursday, February 28, 2013

AMRI admits that Lilly is the source of their medchem resource increase

After I posted on Monday about my skepticism about AMRI's claimed increase in medchem resources, AMRI contacted me via Twitter and noted that the increase was due to their new "insourcing" relationships. When I asked which relationships those were and if it was the Lilly relationship, they initially confirmed it and then deleted the tweet about 10 minutes afterward. You can see the exchange below:


As I said, from what I know of the Lilly situation, I don't think that their hoped-for situation would be a positive development for chemists. [cue Lenina Huxley voice]: "Now all chemists work for AMRI." 

10 comments:

  1. "insourcing"

    Now that would get an A in buzzword class.

    Well done BCG or Mckinsey drone who thought it up!

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  2. The situation down there can be looked at several ways.

    1) It's bad because Lilly is opting not to hire medicinal chemists that are full-fledged Lilly employees, with the salary and benefits

    2) It's better that they are offering chemists here in the US a chance to work rather than sending more and more work to the WuXi and ChemPartner's of the world.

    AMRI has had a contract medicinal chemistry relationship with Lilly since 1999-2000, so it makes sense that they were the ones to try this grand experiment in medicinal chemistry. After selling that site in IN to Covance and hiring them all back as contractors, it seems to be the way Lilly is going to do business.

    I'm on the fence. I prefer to see jobs stay here, but I'd also prefer to see companies hire internally rather than outsource these jobs because I see other companies jumping on this band-wagon.

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    1. Yeah, this is one of those weird things where it's good for US society at large, but bad for the individual chemist.

      For AMRI to clear a profit and for Lilly to be willing to try this, someone had to lose, and that was the chemist.

      My analogy of AMRI as the Tattaglia family is overwrought, IMAO, but not entirely incorrect.

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  3. CJ: Why this hush-hush from both AMRI and Lilly? Not withstanding their official statement or what they tell us, we all know what is there to know. Whom are they trying to impress? Your big "Italian" family analogy is appropriate. I am thinking more like Lilly has several concubines of which AMRI is one of them (several in China!). Taken to gather, I am happy that they are in- sourcing and making sure that job is within the USA (with out benefits, of course).

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    1. (with out benefits, of course)

      Actually, this is untrue. I know at least 2 people working down there and the job comes will full benefits. They are full-time AMRI employees, not contractors.

      The pay is a touch low, by pharma standards, but if you are earning no money, a job doing medicinal chemistry for anywhere between $50 and $70K, depending on experience and degree level, living in Indy isn't horrible. The caveat, as of right now, is that you are basically a pair of hands. No SAR input or even biological data disclosure. You're making compounds and that's about it.

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    2. So, basically a not-so-great job and an absolutely terrible thing for growing a career as a medicinal chemist.

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    3. You got that right CJ! I can tell you emphatically based on my experience that it has come down, just to that. I was gone in my late forties and was lucky to land a decent(relative)job, where other struggled to find one! Understand also that I had a family to support and kids through the college. It pretty much deflated my ego that I am a good medicinal chemist and that I would put the best practices of my business in action at my newer environment. All those things that could be done at big pharma, none of that happened. Your priority changes and then you are thinking, hey as long as my pay is getting deposited at the end of the day, who cares. I can relate to the opinion vented out by The aqueous layer. It is tragic.

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  4. I wonder if they are back to their pre-recession employment levels in North America since they were going through layoffs at the Albany site at least through 2010

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  5. I visited Lilly in the fall, it was a field trip of sorts. 6 hours of going through the buildings and labs, and I am not sure if I saw 20 people. Well, perhaps they steered us through the deserted buildings on purpose.

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  6. Actually I think the Tattaglia family analogy is quite apt. Or perhaps Al Capone. That gruesome base-ball bat scene from the untouchables? That's a board meeting at Tommy D's Pleasure Emporium.
    Plus he quite often used to announce his arrival in the cafeteria with "The Italians are here!"

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