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Traded as NYSE: HSP
Founded May 3, 2004 (spun off from Abbott Laboratories)
Headquarters Lake Forest, Illinois, United States
Key people
F. Michael (Mike) Ball, CEO; John C. Staley, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Products Generic acute-care and oncology injectables, integrated infusion therapy, medication management systems
Revenue $4.1 billion (2011)
Parent Pfizer
Website www.hospira.com

Hospira is an American global pharmaceutical and medical device company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois. It has approximately 15,000 employees.[1] Hospira is the world's largest producer of generic injectable pharmaceuticals,[2] manufacturing generic acute-care and oncology injectables, as well as integrated infusion therapy and medication management systems. Hospira's products are used by hospitals and alternate site providers, such as clinics, home healthcare providers and long-term care facilities.[3] It was formerly the hospital products division of Abbott Laboratories. On September 3, 2015, Hospira was acquired by Pfizer.

Worldwide sales in 2011 were approximately $4.1 billion.[4]


Hospira corporate headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois

In January 2004, Abbott announced it was spinning off its hospital products division.[5]

Hospira's name was picked by employee vote. The name is derived from the words hospital, spirit, inspire and the Latin word "spero," which means "hope."[3] Hospira became an independent company on Monday, May 3, 2004, with 14,000 employees, 14 manufacturing sites and an estimated $2.5 billion in annual sales. [6]

In 2007, Hospira purchased Mayne Pharma Ltd., an Australian-based specialty injectable pharmaceuticals company, for $2.1 billion. The deal expanded Hospira's international reach and its presence in the oncology market.[7]

More recent acquisitions by Hospira include biotechnology business from Pliva-Croatia in 2009, the generic injectable pharmaceuticals business of Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a leading Indian pharmaceuticals company, for approximately $400 million, announced in late 2009 and completed in 2010;[8] Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of post-operative pain management drug Dyloject, for approximately $145 million, in 2010;[9] and TheraDoc, a clinical informatics company that develops hospital surveillance systems, in 2009.[10]

In 2011, Hospira's board chose Mike Ball, formerly president of Allergan, as Hospira's new CEO. Ball became CEO in March 2011.[11] Hospira named John Staley its non-executive chairman with the retirement of former executive chairman Christopher Begley in January 2012. Begley had announced his retirement as Hospira's chief executive in August 2010, but had remained as executive chairman.[12]

In 2015, Pfizer has signed agreement to acquire Hospira.[13]


Some of the key products produced by Hospira:


Medical devices[edit]

  • GemStar SP
  • Hospira MedNet software
  • LifeCare PCA
  • LifeShield
  • Plum A+
  • Symbiq
  • TheraDoc

Delivery systems[edit]

  • ADD-Vantage System
  • Carpuject Syringe System
  • iSecure Syringes

Product descriptions[edit]

  • Biosimilars: Hospira received marketing approval from the European Commission in December 2007 for its biosimilar drug, Retacrit. Retacrit is an erythropoietin, or EPO, for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure and chemotherapy. Both the European Union and the United States have developed a regulatory pathway to approve biosimilars in their respective jurisdictions. Hospira launched Retacrit in Europe in early 2008[14] and today sells the product in all major European markets. In 2010, Hospira received approval and launched in Europe its second biosimilar, Nivestim, a generic filgrastim for the prevention of febrile neutropenia.[15] Hospira also received approval for Nivestim in Australia in 2010,[16] and launched the product in Australia in 2011. To date, Hospira is the only United States-based company selling biosimilars in Europe.[14] Hospira announced in 2010 the start of a U.S. trial for biosimilar EPO.[17]
  • Hextend: Manufactured and distributed by Hospira under license from BioTime (NYSE MKTBTX), a biotechnology company helmed by CEO Michael D. West, PhD.[18]
  • Hospira MedNet: Hospira MedNet is a customizable system that helps hospitals define medication dose limits and track intravenous drug deliveries to help prevent errors.[19]
  • Precedex: Precedex (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride) is Hospira's proprietary I.V. sedative, and is a relatively selective alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist. In the United States, it is approved for continuous I.V. sedation of initially intubated and mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care setting for use up to 24 hours. Precedex has shown promise as a sedative agent for ICU patients and may decrease the occurrence of a combined end point of delirium and coma.[20] In 2010, Hospira received approval in Japan for long-term use (greater than 24 hours) of Precedex.[21]
  • Plum A+: The Plum A+ is an infusion system that administers intravenous (I.V.) medications, fluids and solutions to patients. It is designed to reduce the risk of infusion-related medical errors through both the innovative cassette technology and Drug safety software called MedNet.[22]
  • VisIV: VisIV is an intravenous (I.V.) solution bag free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials that can damage the environment and of the so-called plastic "overwrap" that covers the IV bag during shipping to prevent moisture evaporation and keep the medication concentrated.[23]

Sodium thiopental production[edit]

Sodium thiopental is an anesthetic discovered by Abbott Laboratories in the 1930s.[24] Hospira manufactured the drug after splitting off from Abbott under the brand name Pentothal. The WHO considers it an essential drug. However, it is also used as part of the lethal injection protocol in many US states.[25] Though Hospira has supplied these states with the drug, it has said, "we do not support the use of any of our products in capital punishment procedures."[26]

On January 21, 2011, the company announced that it would stop producing sodium thiopental. Hospira had recently moved production of the drug from a plant in North Carolina to a plant in Liscate, Italy. However, the Italian government threatened to bar its export unless Hospira monitored the entire supply chain all the way to the end user in order to ensure it only used for medical purposes and not converted for use in executions. The Italian constitution bans the use of capital punishment. Company officials determined there was no way it could prevent sodium thiopental from being used in executions, and did not want to expose their employees to liability.[27][28][29]

Legislation and litigation[edit]

Oxaliplatin: In August 2009, Hospira introduced a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis SA's (SNY) colon-cancer drug known generically as oxaliplatin and by the brand name Eloxatin, in the United States. In April 2010, Hospira announced a legal settlement with Sanofi-Aventis. Under the settlement terms, Hospira agreed to stop selling oxaliplatin injection in the United States by June 30, 2010, and can relaunch the product in the United States on Aug. 9, 2012.[30]

Biosimilars: In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that would allow the marketing of biosimilar drugs in the United States. The legislation would allow 12 years of data exclusivity for brand-name biologics. Some consumer groups, like AARP, oppose this provision, saying it would cause lack of access to the promise of such drugs.[31]


Hospira's competitors in specialty injectable pharmaceuticals include Fresenius AG, Baxter International Inc., Bedford Laboratories, Mylan, Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals as well as divisions of several multinational pharmaceutical companies. Its competitors in medication management systems include Baxter, B. Braun Melsungen AG, CareFusion and Fresenius Medical Care AG.[32]

Infusion pump system firmware vulnerability disclosures[edit]

In 2014-2015 two security researchers independently identified what were described as severe defects in Hospira's PCA system firmware, the software controlling various of their drug infusion equipment (CVE-2015-3459[33] and further advisory ICSA-15-125-01B[34]). Numerous remote exploit vulnerabilities were found, in what was believed to be the first FDA safety advisory of its kind.[35] This was followed in July 2015 by a second FDA recommendation that hospitals discontinue use of the affected pumps entirely.[36] The devices, extent of their flaws, and implications, were widely discussed.[37][38][39]


  1. ^ "Hospira - Investor Relations - Shareholder FAQ". 
  2. ^ "US-based Hospira to buy Orchid Chemicals' injectables biz for $400 mn". The Economic Times. 16 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "About Hospira". 
  4. ^ "HSP Key Statistics". Yahoo.com. 
  5. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (25 January 2004). "Abbott Labs to spin off unit". Austin Business Journal. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Sherman, Debra (28 February 2007). "Hospira quarterly earnings rise 78 percent". Reuters. 
  8. ^ "US-based Hospira to Buy Orchid Chemical's Injectables Biz For $400 Mn". The Economic Times. 16 December 2009. 
  9. ^ "Hospira To Close $145M Javelin Deal This Week". BusinessWeek. 29 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hospira Acquires Theradoc, Enhances Medication Safety and Infection Management Offerings". Infection Control Today. 2 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Hospira Names Allergan's Michael Ball as CEO". Daily Herald. 8 March 2011. 
  12. ^ http://articles.marketwatch.com/2011-12-07/news/30959308_1_hospira-christopher-begley-chairman
  13. ^ http://www.cnbc.com/id/102376540
  14. ^ a b "Phase I Trial of a Biosimilar Erythropoietin". Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. 17 September 2010. 
  15. ^ The Pharma Letter. "Hospiraâs Nivestim, a new biosimilar filgrastim, approved in Europe". thepharmaletter.com. 
  16. ^ Zacks Investment Research (28 September 2010). "Hospira Receives Australian Approval for Nivestim". Seeking Alpha. 
  17. ^ "Hospira to Test Biosimilar Anemia Drug in U.S.". Chicago Tribune. 28 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "The Doctor Will Freeze You Now". Scimitar Equity Blog. February 5, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Hospira Pushes Upgrade to Drug Tracking System". Daily Herald. 11 May 2005. 
  20. ^ "JAMA Network - JAMA - Dexmedetomidine vs Midazolam for Sedation of Critically Ill Patients: A Randomized Trial". ama-assn.org. 4 February 2009. 
  21. ^ "Hospira Gains New Indication for Precedex in Japan". ThePharmaLetter. 24 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business.". Entrepreneur. 
  23. ^ "Hospira Slices into Plastic Medical Waste with New IV Bags". CleanTechnica. 
  24. ^ Thatcher, Virginia S. (1953). "Chapter 7: Illegal or Legal?" (PDF). History of Anesthesia with Emphasis on the Nurse Specialist. J.B. Lippincott. 
  25. ^ Allen, Nick (27 September 2010). "US executions on hold due to lethal injection drug shortage". London: The Telegraph. 
  26. ^ Welsh-Huggins, Andrew (27 September 2010). "Shortage of drug holds up some U.S. executions". MSNBC. AP. 
  27. ^ Eckholm, Erik; Zezima, Katie (21 January 2011). "States Face Shortage of Key Lethal Injection Drug". New York Times. 
  28. ^ Koppel, Nathan (January 22, 2011). "Drug Halt Hinders Executions in the U.S.". The Wall Street Journal. 
  29. ^ "Hospira - Investor Relations - Press Release". corporate-ir.net. 
  30. ^ "Sanofi-Aventis Settles Additional Eloxatin Suits". MarketWatch. 6 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Home - AARP Online Community". aarp.org. 
  32. ^ "Hsp". CNN. 
  33. ^ "NVD - Detail". nist.gov. 
  34. ^ "Hospira LifeCare PCA Infusion System Vulnerabilities (Update B) - ICS-CERT". us-cert.gov. 
  35. ^ "Billy (BK) Rios". xs-sniper.com. 
  36. ^ "Symbiq Infusion System by Hospira: FDA Safety Communication - Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities". fda.gov. 
  37. ^ "Researcher: Drug Pump the 'Least Secure IP Device I've Ever Seen' - The Security Ledger". The Security Ledger. 
  38. ^ "Serious Security Flaws Found in Hospira LifeCare Drug Pumps - SecurityWeek.Com". securityweek.com. 
  39. ^ Andrea Peterson (3 August 2015). "Connected medical devices: The Internet of things-that-could-kill-you". Washington Post. 

External links[edit]