The 187 employees at this Exton biotech company enjoy the usual complement of seminars, webinars, and computer training that forward-thinking employers offer to keep employees' skills sharp.
And then there's "Lunch and Learn."
For this innovative quarterly teach-in, ViroPharma will often invite in a patient whose life has been transformed by a drug that the company launched in 2008 for the devastating, rare, and formerly untreatable disease hereditary angioedema.
"We're training our employees on why what they do is so valuable to the patients we serve," said Vincent Milano, ViroPharma chief executive officer.
When patients speak, "there's tears in the room," he said. "You hear these stories and you can't help but get fired up and want to do more."
Motivated employees can then opt for one outside seminar of their choice every year to sharpen the skills that they think will be most relevant.
What employees said:
"The company has paid for me to attend seminars related to my specific position, which is incredibly valuable."
"We have Lunch and Learns, webinars, Microsoft training, and one training of my choice per year."
"In the short time that I have been with ViroPharma, they have offered extensive clinical, information systems, and ethics training. The senior management always participates."