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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is a diversified pharmaceuticals and health care company. It has over 65,000 employees and operates in 130 countries. The corporate headquarters are in Abbott Park, Illinois, a neighborhood of North Chicago, Illinois.
Abbott Laboratories was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888. In 2003, Abbott had nearly $20 billion in sales.
In 1985, the company developed the first HIV blood screening test. The company's drug portfolio includes Humira, a drug for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, Norvir, a treatment for HIV, Depakote, an anticonvulsant drug, and Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone. Abbott also has a broad range of diagnostics and immunoassay products as well as Ensure, a line of well known meal replacement shakes.
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.
Abbott's core businesses in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries are organized into major divisions, which have recently been supplemented through several notable acquisitions. It has also divested itself of less profitable businesses through sales and spinoffs. Abbott's principal divisions include Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development (GPRD) and Abbott Diagnostics Division (ADD).
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, 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 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 11th, 2007, Abbott announced that it had terminated its agreement with GE because both parties could not agree on terms of the deal. 
On September 8th, 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.
In 1888 at the age of 30, Dr. Wallace C. Abbott 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 consisitent and effective dosages for patients.
Some of the key products produced by Abbott Laboratories, circa 2006, include:
A plaintiffs group in Washington, D.C., has 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 no longer 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.
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 $3,500,000 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.
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, because 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 $2742, 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.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Abbott_Laboratories". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|