Abbott Laboratories

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Abbott Laboratories
Traded as NYSEABT
S&P 500 Component
Industry Health care
Founded 1888; 127 years ago (1888) (as Abbott Alkaloidal Company)
Founder Dr. Wallace Calvin Abbott
Headquarters Abbott Park, Illinois, United States
Area served
Products Branded generic drugs
Medical devices
Diagnostic assays
Nutritional products
Revenue Increase US$ 20.247 billion (2014)[1]
Increase US$ 02.599 billion (2014)[2]
Decrease US$ 02.284 billion (2014)[2]
Total assets Decrease US$15.261 billion (2014)[2]
Total equity Increase US$41.275 billion (2014)[2]
Number of employees
73,000 (2015)[2]

Abbott Laboratories is an American[3] worldwide health care company. It has 73,000 employees and operates in more than 150 countries.[2][4] The company headquarters are in Abbott Park, Abbott Park, Illinois. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888. In 2014, revenues were $20.2 billion.

Abbott has a broad range of branded generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, nutrition products, including Ensure, a line of meal replacement shakes. The company's in-vitro diagnostics business performs immunoassays and blood screening. Its 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 indicators of health. In 1985, the company developed the first HIV blood-screening test.[citation needed]

Abbott Point-of-Care manufactures diagnostic products for blood analysis to provide health care professionals diagnostics information at the point of patient care. Abbott also provides point-of-care cardiac assays to the emergency room.[citation needed]


In 1888 at the age of 30, Wallace C. Abbott (1857–1921), 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 (morphine, quinine, strychnine and codeine), which he formed into tiny "dosimetric granules". This approach was successful since it produced more consistent and effective dosages for patients.[5]

Abbott's first international affiliate was in London in 1907, and the company later added an affiliate in Montreal, Canada (Fact 21).[citation needed] Expansion continued in 1962 when Abbott entered into a joint venture with Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, to manufacture radio-pharmaceuticals. In 1965, Abbott's expansion in Europe continued with offices in Italy and France.[citation needed] Abbott Laboratories has been present in India for over 100 years through its subsidiary Abbott India Limited and it is currently India's largest healthcare products company.[6]

In 2009, Abbott opened a satellite research and development facility at Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[citation needed] In May 2014, the company entered into a binding agreement to acquire Chilean generic pharmaceutical company CFR in a deal worth $2.9 billion which the company said would more than double its branded generic drugs business in Latin America.[citation needed]

In June 2014 the company entered into a definitive agreement to take over Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer Veropharm (Voronezh) in a deal worth $631 million. Abbott, which already employs 1,400 people in Russia, said it planned to set up a manufacturing presence in the country once the deal closed.[7]


Abbott office

Abbott's core businesses focus on pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional products, which have been supplemented through acquisitions. The firm's divisions are:[citation needed]

  • Diabetes Care: Glucose monitoring devices
  • Diagnostics: Hematology, immunodiagnostic, oncology and clinical chemistry (including the i-Stat)
  • Established Pharmaceutical Products: Branded generic drugs sold exclusively in developing markets.
  • 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
  • Vision Care: intraocular lenses for cataracts; laser-vision correction technologies; corneal care products

The company has divested itself of less profitable businesses through sales and spinoffs. In 1964, it acquired Ross Laboratories, making Ross a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbott. In 2001, the company acquired Knoll, the pharmaceutical division of BASF. In 2002, it divested the Selsun Blue brand to Chattem. Later in 2002, the company sold Clear Eyes and Murine to Prestige Brands.[citation needed] In 2004, it 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.[citation needed]

In January 2007, the company 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 the parties could not agree on the terms of the deal.[8]

On September 8, 2007, the company 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, the company completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics based in Santa Ana, California.[citation needed]

In February 2010, Abbott completed its $6.2 billion (EUR 4.5 billion) acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals.[9] This provided Abbott with a large and complementary portfolio of pharmaceutical products and also expanding its presence in key emerging markets.[10]

On March 22, 2010, the company 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.[11] On May 21, 2010, Abbott Laboratories said it would buy Piramal Healthcare Ltd.'s Healthcare Solutions unit for $2.2[12] billion to become the biggest drug company in India.[13]

On May 16, 2014, it was announced that Abbott would acquire the holding company (Kalo Pharma Internacional S.L. which owns 73% of Chilean pharmaceutical company, CFR Pharmaceuticals, for $2.9 billion.[14]


On October 19, 2011, the company announced that it planned to separate into two companies, one in medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals. Both are publicly traded. The medical products company retained the Abbott name. The research-based pharmaceuticals company is named AbbVie.[15][16] In preparation for this reorganization, Abbott "drastically cut expenses" and took a US$478 million charge in Q3-2012 to pay for the restructuring.[17] The separation was effective as of January 1, 2013.[18] AbbVie was officially listed in the New York Stock Exchange on January 2, 2013.[19]

Acquisition history[edit]

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Alkaloidal Company
(Est 1885)

Ross Laboratories
(Acq 1964)

(Acq 2001)

Selsun Blue
(Sold to Chattem 2002)

(Sold to Prestige Brands2002)

Clear Eyes
(Sold to Prestige Brands 2002)

(Vascular device div, Acq 2012)

(Acq 2004)

(Spun off 2004)

Advanced Medical Optics
(Acq 2009)

IntraLase Corp
(Acq 2007)

Solvay Pharmaceuticals
(Acq 2010)

(Acq 2010)

Lab Data Management Ltd
(Acq 2008)

(Spun off 2013)

IDEV Technologies
(Acq 2013)

OptiMedica Corporation[20]
(Acq 2013)

(Acq 2014)

Topera, Inc[22]
(Acq 2014)

Kalo Pharma Internacional S.L.
(Acq 2014)

CFR Pharmaceuticals

Management structure[edit]

Miles D. White is Chairman and (CEO),.[17] He joined Abbott in 1984, serving in management positions including senior vice president of diagnostic operations and executive vice president. He was elected to the Board of Directors in April 1998, to Chief Executive Officer in 1998, and to Chairman of the Board in April 1999.[citation needed]

Management practices[edit]

Along with being ranked 134th on the 2015 Fortune 500 list of largest U.S.-based corporation,[citation needed] Abbott was named one of the 2014 Top 20 Employers by the journal Science and listed as a Top 10 company for women by Working Mother magazine and the National Association for Female Executives.[citation needed] The company has also been named one of the World's Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine every year since 1984 – ranking No. 1 in medical equipment in 2014 and 2015.[citation needed] Abbott has also been recognized for 11 consecutive years for sustainability leadership through its inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).[citation needed] The Top Employers Institute designated Abbott as a great place to work in Europe and China in 2014.[citation needed] DiversityInc magazine has recognized Abbott repeatedly as a Top 50 company for diversity; and, additionally, the Dave Thomas Foundation ranked the company as a best company thanks to its generous adoption benefits.[citation needed]



In March 2003, British company Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) stated its wish to "initiate discussions regarding the applicability of the royalty offset provisions for Humira" (Adalimumab) with Abbott Laboratories in the High Court of London. In December 2004, the judgment ruled for CAT.[23]

Abbott was required to pay CAT US$255 million, some of which was to be passed to its partners in development. Of this sum, the Medical Research Council (United Kingdom) (MRC) received US$191M, and in addition, Abbott was asked to pay the MRC a further US$7.5M over five years from 2006, providing that Humira remains on the market.[citation needed]


On October 2, 2012, the company was charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, and in a plea agreement was assessed the second-largest criminal fine in U.S. history for a drug company. U.S. District Court Judge Samuel G Wilson of the Western District of Virginia imposed it given Abbott's guilty plea related to its unlawful promotion of Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA. Abbott had advertised Depakote to be used to control behavioral disturbances for patients with dementia and schizophrenia, without FDA approval. In addition, Abbott marketed Depakote for other psychiatric conditions in adults, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug withdrawal and psychiatric conditions in children, including conduct disorders, attention deficit disorder and autism. The court also ordered Abbott to a five-year term of probation and court supervision.[24] Shareholders then brought derivative suits against the company directors for breach of fiduciary duty[25] The parties reached a negotiated settlement in which Abbott agreed to beef up its internal controls and paid the plaintiffs' attorney fees.[26]


Since 2015 Abbott is the title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors.[27]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 Abbott Annual Report". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Abbot Laboratories Worldwide Fast Facts and Statistics", Abbott Laboratories. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Abbott Laboratories", Abbott Laboratories. Retrieved July 07, 2014.
  5. ^ "Abbott Laboratories Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "It's essential to be part of the extraordinary future India is building: Miles D. White". 
  7. ^ "Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Key Developments -". 
  8. ^ Layne, Rachel; Lopatto, Elizabeth (July 11, 2007). "GE, Abbott End $8.13 Billion Diagnostic Sale Deal (Update2)". Bloomberg News. 
  9. ^ Abbott Press Release (February 16, 2010). "Abbott Completes Acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Abbott Laboratories Feb 2010 Current Report, Form 8-K, Filing Date Feb 16, 2010" (PDF). Retrieved Dec 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ Abbott Press Release (March 22, 2010). "Abbott Completes Acquisition of STARLIMS Technologies". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ Abbott 2011 annual report, p43
  13. ^ Abbott Press Release (May 21, 2010). "Abbott to Become No. 1 Pharmaceutical Company in India with Acquisition of Piramal's Healthcare Solutions Business". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ Bloomberg Release (May 16, 2014). "Abbott to acquire CFR Pharmaceuticals". Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ Abbott Press Release (October 19, 2011). "Abbott to Separate into Two Leading Companies in Diversified Medical Products and Research-Based Pharmaceuticals". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ Abbott Press Release (March 21, 2012). "Abbot Selects AbbVie as New Name for Future Research-Based Pharmaceutical Company". Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Frost, Peter (October 17, 2012), "Abbott lays off 550", Chicago Tribune, retrieved November 16, 2012 
  18. ^ Abbott Press Release (January 2, 2013). "Abbott Completes Separation of Research-Based Pharmaceuticals Business". Abbott Laboratories. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ AbbVie Press Release (January 2, 2013). "AbbVie Celebrates Launch As New Biopharmaceutical Company With Employees, Patients". AbbVie Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Abbott to Enter Laser Cataract Surgery Market through Acquisition of OptiMedica". 
  21. ^ "Abbott to Acquire Veropharm". 
  22. ^ "Abbott Completes Acquisition of Topera, Inc.". 
  23. ^ "Cambridge Antibody Wins Lawsuit Against Abbott Labs (Update5) - Bloomberg". 
  24. ^ Abbott Labs to Pay $1.5 Billion to Resolve Criminal & Civil Investigations of Off-label Promotion of Depakote, Press Release, United States Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, May 7, 2012. Accessed Aug. 17 2014.
  25. ^ U.S. ex rel. McCoyd v. Abbott Laboratories, 1:07-cv-00081 (W.D. Va.); U.S. ex rel. Mulcahy v. Abbott Laboratories, 1:08-cv-0054 (W.D. Va.); U.S. ex rel. Dietzler v. Abbott Laboratories, 1:09-cv-00051 (W.D. Va.); U.S. ex rel. Spetter v. Abbott Laboratories, 1:10-cv-00006 (W.D. Va.).
  26. ^ "Abbott, Shareholders Agree To Settle Depakote Marketing Suit - Law360". 

External links[edit]