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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction
Abbott Laboratories



Abbott Laboratories () is a pharmaceuticals health care company. It has 72,000 employees and operates in over 130 countries. The company headquarters are in Abbott Park, North Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded by Chicago physician, Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888. In 2008, Abbott had over $29 billion in revenue.

In 1985, the company developed the first HIV blood screening test. The company's drug portfolio includes HUMIRA , a drug for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, moderate to severe chronic psoriasis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Norvir, a treatment for HIV; Depakote, an anticonvulsant drug; and Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone. Abbott also has a broad range of medical devices, diagnostics and immunoassay products as well as nutritional products, including Ensure, a line of well known meal replacement shakes, and EAS , the largest producer of performance based nutritional supplements.

Abbott's in vitro diagnostics business is a world leader in immunoassays and blood screening. Abbott's broad range of medical tests and diagnostic instrument systems are used worldwide by hospitals, laboratories, blood banks, and physician offices to diagnose and monitor diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, cancer, heart failure and metabolic disorders, as well as assess other important indicators of general health. Abbott Point-of-Care manufactures diagnostic products for blood analysis to provide health care professionals critical diagnostics information accurately and immediately at the point of patient care. Abbott also provides point-of-care cardiac assays to the emergency room.

Abbott's core businesses focus on pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional products, which have been supplemented through several notable acquisitions. The firm currently divides itself into several divisions:

  • Animal Health: anesthesia for animals, Clinicare liquid animal diets and other veterinary products

  • Diabetes Care: Glucose monitoring devices and medicine

  • Diagnostics: Hematology, immunodiagnostic, oncology and clinical chemistry (including the i-Stat)

  • Molecular: analysis of DNA, RNA, and proteins at the molecular level

  • Nutrition: baby nutrition ( Similac, Isomil, and Gain), adult health products (Ensure and ZonePerfect) and special dietary needs (Glucerna)

  • Vascular: stents, vessel closure devices, endovascular and coronary technologies

It has also divested itself of less profitable businesses through sales and spinoffs. In the 1970s, it acquired Ross Laboratories, making Ross a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abbott. In 2001, Abbott acquired Knoll, the pharmaceutical division of BASF. In 2002, Abbott divested the Selsun Blue brand to Chattem. Later in 2002, Abbott sold Clear Eyes and Murine to Prestige Brands. In 2004, Abbott spun off its hospital products division into a new 14,000 employee company named Hospira, and acquired TheraSense, a diabetes care company, which it merged with its MediSense division to become Abbott Diabetes Care. In 2006, Abbott assisted Boston Scientific in its purchase of Guidant Corporation. As part of the agreement, Abbott purchased the vascular device division of Guidant. In 2007, Ross was renamed Abbott Nutrition.

In January 2007, Abbott Laboratories agreed to sell its in vitro diagnostics and Point-of-Care diagnostics divisions to General Electric for more than $8 billion. These units were slated to be integrated into the GE Healthcare business unit. The transaction was approved by the Boards of Directors of Abbott and GE and was targeted to close in the first half of 2007. However, on July 11, 2007, Abbott announced that it had terminated its agreement with GE because both parties could not agree on terms of the deal.

On September 8, 2007, Abbott completed the sale of the UK manufacturing plant at Queenborough to Aesica Pharmaceuticals, a Private equity-owned UK manufacturer. No announcements have been made restricting the movement of staff to Abbott unlike other sell outs. On February 26, 2009, Abbott completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics based in Santa Ana, California. The acquisition gives Abbott a Vision Eye Care division. In February 2010 Abbott completed its $6.2 billion (EUR 4.5 billion) acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. This provided Abbott with a large and complementary portfolio of pharmaceutical products and also expanding its presence in key emerging markets.

On March 22, 2010, Abbott completed its acquisition of a Hollywood, Florida-based LIMS company STARLIMS. Under the terms of the deal, Abbott Laboratories acquired the company for $14 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $123 million. On April 21, 2010, Abbott has completed its acquisition of Facet Biotech Corporation, strengthening its pharmaceutical pipeline in immunology and oncology. On May 20, 2010, Abbott Laboratories said it will buy Piramal Healthcare Ltd.'s Healthcare Solutions unit for $3.72 billion to become the biggest drug company in India.

In 1888 at the age of 30, Dr. Wallace C. Abbott, an 1885 graduate of the University of Michigan, founded the Abbott Alkaloidal Company. At the time he was a practicing physician and owned a drug store. His innovation was the use of the active part of a medicinal plant , generally an alkaloid, which he formed into tiny pills which he called ???dosimetric granules.??? This was successful since it allowed more consistent and effective dosages for patients.

Like most large drug manufacturers, Abbott has experienced its share of product liability disasters. The most notorious by far involved its production of diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was later discovered to cause birth defects (i.e., be a teratogen). This gave the Supreme Court of California the opportunity to develop market-share liability in the landmark case of Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories (1980).

Abbott manufactures fully automated random access automated analyzers utilized by medical technologists in medical laboratories .


A plaintiffs group in Washington, D.C., filed a $5.2 billion lawsuit against Purdue Pharma LP and Abbott Laboratories Inc., charging the drug companies with allegedly failing to warn patients that the painkiller OxyContin is dangerously addictive. Abbott still markets OxyContin.

Prevacid also generated a lawsuit filed by New Orleans physician John LaCorte claiming that TAP violated its agreement to offer Medicaid its "best price" for Prevacid by charging the agency up to 20 times more for the drug than it charged some of its other customers. LaCorte sued TAP on behalf of the federal government and is seeking triple damages, plus a $10,000 fine for each violation (see ).

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. & subsidiary Mead-Johnson sued Abbott Laboratories claiming that Similac SimplePac packages use a "container and scoop arrangement", which is an infringement of the 2006 patent issued to Bristol-Myers. Abbott says that the SimplePac design was independently researched and produced. The lawsuit has since been dropped.


HUMIRA, Abbott's blockbuster human monoclonal antibody to TNF alpha, has been the subject of the following disputes:

  • Cambridge Antibody Technology Royalty Litigation - Adalimumab was the first fully human monoclonal antibody drug derived from phage display, and was discovered by Cambridge Antibody Technology as D2E7, then further developed by BASF Knoll Aktiengesellschaft (BASF Pharma) and, ultimately, manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories. The original agreement in 1995 set a royalty rate that CAT would be due when the drug went to market. When the drug was marketed CAT felt they were not being paid the correct royalty rate and, in November 2003, challenged Abbott. The case, upon appeal, found its way to the High Courts of Justice where, in November 2005, The Hon. Mr Justice Laddie found Abbott to be in error, and found CAT to have won the action.

  • Centocor, May 2009 - Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., owned by Johnson & Johnson, received FDA approval for their HUMIRA competitor Simponi in April 2009. Abbott announced that Simponi would infringe a patent it owns that was issued in 2007 and that it wanted cash and an order that would prevent further use of its invention. In June 2009, a federal jury has returned a verdict of $1.67 billion against Abbott Laboratories in a patent infringement suit .

Pricing of Norvir

Abbott caused controversy in 2003 over a sharp rise in price of Norvir treatment from $1.71 per day to $8.57 per day, spurring claims of price gouging by consumer groups and some members of Congress. Critics point out that Abbott received $3.5 million in grants from the United States taxpayers to develop Norvir, although the company has responded by pointing out the nearly $200 million development cost for the drug.

Consumer rights group Essential Inventions petitioned the National Institutes of Health to override Abbott's patent on Norvir, but the agency refused to do so on August 4, 2004, citing potential widespread adverse effects on the pharmaceutical market.

Florida fraud action

In 2006, Abbott Laboratories was charged with fraud over the pricing of its products for certain patient groups in Florida.

Access to Kaletra

In 2006, Abbott began working with many countries to register the new version of Kaletra in response to protesters from many organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, the Student Global AIDS Campaign, and Act Up . The protests were held at Abbott's offices and laboratories across the US (including in Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida), demanding that Abbott actively take part in registering Kaletra in developing countries, to create "affordable" prices in middle-income countries, to establish a pediatric version of the drug (in addition to the liquid that is currently available), and to create open licenses to allow for generic drugs to be made before expiration of the patents.

In March 2007, Abbott announced it will not be introducing any new medicines into Thailand, claiming Thailand had decided to disregard international intellectual property rights and manufacture its own generic version of Kaletra. Thailand, a country with a per capita income of about $2,742, had recently issued WTO-compliant compulsory licenses to allow government use of Kaletra and efavirenz for treatment of the estimated 600,000 people living with HIV/AIDS within its borders.

Some of the products produced by Abbott Laboratories, as of 2006, include:


  • Biaxin/Klacid ( clarithromycin)

  • Dilaudid ( hydromorphone)

  • Depacon ( valproic acid)

  • Depakote ( valproate semisodium)

  • Desoxyn (medical methamphetamine)

  • Gengraf ( ciclosporin)

  • Gopten/Mavik ( trandolapril)

  • Hytrin ( terazosin)

  • Kaletra ( lopinavir/ ritonavir)

  • Meridia/Reductil ( sibutramine)

  • Norvir ( ritonavir)

  • Omnicef ( cefdinir)

  • Synthroid ( levothyroxine)

  • Tricor ( fenofibrate)

  • Trilipix (fenofibric acid)

  • Ultane ( sevoflurane)

  • Niaspan ( niacin)

  • Azmacort ( triamcinolone)

  • Simcor ( niacin/simvastatin)

  • Advicor ( niacin/lovastatin)

  • Valcote

  • Simdax ( levosimendan) - A

  • Zemplar ( paricalcitol)

Diabetes Care

  • G2 Sensor Card Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Precision QID Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Medisense Optium Blood Glucose Monitor

  • FreeStyle Freedom Blood Glucose Monitor

  • FreeStyle MINI Blood Glucose Monitor

  • FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Optium Xceed Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitor

  • FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Precision Pcx HCP Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Xceed Pro HCP Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitor


  • Abbott Aeroset

  • Abbott Architect

  • Abbott AxSYM

  • Abbott CELL-DYN ( Complete blood count analyzer)

  • Abbott i-STAT system

  • Abbott m 2000 sp and m 2000 rt

  • Abbott PRISM

  • FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor

  • Abbott Labs Global Health Care & Medical Research

  • Abbott/GE deal for core lab diagnostics business

  • Abbott terminates deal with GE

  • Abbott Hellas

  • Abbott Labs company profile and news archive

  • NIH Won't Intervene in AIDS Drug Pricing Issue , The Washington Post, August 4, 2004

  • Abbott Laboratories timeline Abbott: A History of Medical Innovation

  • CELL-DYN Hematology Analyzer Abbott Laboratories - Validate Region

  • 2007 annual report win

  • Abbott Laboratories Analysis on Wikinvest

  • Abbott Acquired STARLIMS Laboratory Information Systems

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Abbott Laboratories".

Last Modified:   2010-11-25

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