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Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is a pharmaceuticals health care company. It has 72,000 employees and operates in over 130 countries.[3] The company headquarters are in Abbott Park,Illinois, located near North Chicago, Illinois.

Abbott Laboratories was founded by Chicago physician 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 immunoassayproducts 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. In addition to its offerings in the blood gas and chemistries segment, Abbott also provides point-of-care cardiac assays to the emergency room.



  • 1 Organization
  • 2 History
  • 3 Abbott Diagnostics
  • 4 Controversy
    • 4.1 Lawsuits
    • 4.2 HUMIRA
    • 4.3 Pricing of Norvir
    • 4.4 Florida fraud action
    • 4.5 Access to Kaletra
    • 5 Products
      • 5.1 Pharmaceuticals
      • 5.2 Diabetes Care
      • 5.3 Diagnostics
      • 6 References
      • 7 External links


Abbott’s core businesses focus on pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional products, which have been supplemented through several notable acquisitions. It has also divested itself of less profitable businesses through sales and spinoffs.

In 2001, Abbott acquired Knoll, the pharmaceutical division of BASF.

In 2004, Abbott spun off its hospital products division into a new 14,000 employee company named Hospira, and acquired TheraSense, adiabetes 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 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.[4]

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 out of Santa Ana, Ca. The acquisition gives Abbott a Vision Eye Care division.

In Feb 2010 Abbott completed its $6.2 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.[5]

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.[6]

On April 21, 2010, Abbott has completed its acquisition of Facet Biotech Corporation, strengthening its pharmaceutical pipeline in immunology and oncology.[7]

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. .[8]


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 – or alkaloid – part of a medicinal plant that 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, 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 Diagnostics

Abbott manufactures fully automated random access automated analyzers utilized by medical technologists in medical laboratories. Abbott also provides client support for these instruments. STARLIMS Laboratory Information Systems



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.[1] 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. He alleges fraudulent behavior that, he says, dates back more than a decade.[2]

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.[9] The lawsuit has since been dropped.


HUMIRA, Abbott’s blockbuster human monoclonal antibody to TNF alpha, has been the subject to several disputes:

  • Cambridge Antibody Technology Royalty Litigation – Adalimumab was the first fully human monoclonal antibody drug derived from phage display[10], and was discovered by Cambridge Antibody Technology as D2E7[11], 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[12]. 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[13].
  • Centocor, May 2009 – Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., owned by Johnson & Johnson, received FDA approval for their HUMIRA competitorSimponi in April 2009[14]. 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[15]. In June 2009, a federal jury has returned a verdict of $1.67 billion against Abbott Laboratories in a patent infringement suit[16].

]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, there is an unpopular example of Abbott Laboratories fraud action which is now under the USA FLORIDA State’s Jury trial processing. This fraud action is about the “USA STATE of FLORIDA Medicare and Medicaid programs” where Abbott reported inflated pharmaceutical prices – often 1000% higher than Abbott’s actual prices.[3]

]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 this drug and efavirenz for treatment of the estimated 600,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in that country.[17][citation needed]


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


  • Vicodin (hydrocodone/paracetemol)
  • Biaxin/Klacid (clarithromycin)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Depacon (valproic acid)
  • Depakote (valproate semisodium)
  • Desoxyn (methamphetamine (medical))
  • Gengraf (ciclosporin)
  • Gopten/Mavik (trandolapril)
  • Humira (adalimumab)
  • Isoptin (verapamil)
  • Hytrin (terazosin)
  • Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)
  • Meridia/Reductil (sibutramine)
  • Norvir (ritonavir)
  • Omnicef (cefdinir)
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine)
  • Tarka (trandolapril/verapamil)
  • Tricor (fenofibrate)
  • Trilipix (fenofibric acid)
  • Ultane (sevoflurane)
  • Niaspan (niacin)
  • Azmacort (triamcinolone)
  • Simcor (niacin/simvastatin)
  • Advicor (niacin/lovastatin)
  • Valcote
  • Simdax (levosimendan) – A
  • Zemplar (paricalcitol)
  • 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 m2000sp and m2000rt
  • Abbott PRISM

]Diabetes Care


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