Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pharmaceutical company executive luxury

While I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this Cafe Pharma post (a site for pharmaceutical sales and marketing professionals) regarding the luxuries afforded to Pharmaceutical Company executives, I can vouch for having to watch the Merck helicopter take off and land periodically, since the commuter train station I now use to commute to my university faculty position is literally 100 yards from the helipad. The chopper is used by executives to commute between sites in West Point, PA, Rahway, NJ and Whitehouse Station, NJ, distances I frequently drove on a regular basis.

The choppers, which resemble this but in white, are very familiar to those who reside in the vicinity of Merck sites and observe them in flight. Hardly a day passes when I, in walking in the nearby park or shopping in the vincinity, fail to see the familiar Merck chopper in the sky.

With today's technologies in videoconferencing and teleconferencing, one could question whether the considerable expense of helicopters (vs. limos with conferencing facilities) has a justifiable ROI.

I also am aware of former Pharma executives at other companies who lived cross-country from where they worked and who 'commuted' to work on jets the way line employees commute to work on the subway.

In my opinion, if you want to work at a company, Pharma or otherwise, then move yourself to the area where the worksite is located, instead of wasting operational dollars as if you were royalty.

-- SS


Anonymous said...

Or just simply use videoconferencing, teleconferencing, faxes, phones and emails like the rest of us bumpkins in the real world!

Anonymous said...

I don't see a problem with this? That's the difference between academia and the biz world. That is why they call it "selling out". Keeping your execs. happy is part of the cost of doing business in a competitive job market. You have choosen your careers, and all the benefits and limitations that come with it.

Anonymous said...

Having owned a business directly next to Merck's helipad in Upper Gwynedd, I can tell you that Dr. Kim flies in a Sikorsky S-76c VIP, a significantly more expensive helicopter than the Bell you mentioned. S-76s can easily run $20m+ depending on interior design. I agree that under certain circumstances executives need to fly, but what's wrong with a $2m heli?

Anonymous said...

Hey for the thousands of people fired by Clark et al. from Schering and the old Merck
He deserves a drink now and then before the Board realizes that fired staff find no drugs.