Abbott Laboratories


Abbott Laboratories
S&P 100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Founded1888; 133 years ago (1888) (as Abbott Alkaloidal Company)
FounderDr. Wallace Calvin Abbott
HeadquartersAbbott Park, Illinois, United States
Area served
Key people
Miles D. White
(Executive Chairman)
Robert B. Ford
(President & CEO)[1]
Robert Funck
(Executive Vice President & CFO)
ProductsBranded generic medicines
Medical devices
Diagnostic assays
RevenueIncrease US$34.608 billion (2020)[2]
Increase US$5.357 billion (2020)[2]
Increase US$4.495billion (2020)[2]
Total assetsIncrease US$72.548 billion (2020)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$33.003 billion (2020)[2]
Number of employees
~109,000 (December 2020)[3]
Footnotes / references

Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and health care company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois, United States. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888 to formulate known drugs; today, it sells medical devices, diagnostics, branded generic medicines and nutritional products. It split off its research-based pharmaceuticals business into AbbVie in 2013.

Among its well-known products across the medical devices, diagnostics, and nutrition product divisions are Pedialyte, Similac, Ensure, Glucerna, ZonePerfect, FreeStyle Libre, i-STAT and MitraClip.


Dr. Wallace C. Abbott

Foundation and early history

In 1888 at the age of 30, Wallace Abbott (1857–1921), an 1885 graduate of the University of Michigan, founded the Abbott Alkaloidal Company in Ravenswood, Chicago. 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 (e.g., 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] In 1922, the company moved from Ravenswood to North Chicago, Illinois.

International expansion

Abbott's first international affiliate was in London in 1907, and the company later added an affiliate in Montreal, Canada (Fact 21).[citation needed] Abbott started operations in Pakistan as a marketing affiliate in 1948; the company has steadily expanded to comprise a work force of over 1500 employees. Currently, two manufacturing facilities located at Landhi and Korangi in Karachi continue to produce pharmaceutical products.[6] Expansion continued in 1962 when Abbott entered into a joint venture with Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, to manufacture radio-pharmaceuticals.[citation needed] In 1964, it merged with Ross Laboratories, making Ross a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbott, and Richard Ross gained a seat on Abbott's board of directors until his retirement in 1983.[7] The acquisition of Ross brought Similac under the Abbott umbrella. In the years following the acquisition, Pedialyte and Ensure were introduced as nutritional products by Ross Laboratories while under Abbott's leadership.[8][9][10]

In 1965, Abbott's expansion in Europe continued with offices in Italy and France. 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.[11]

According to Harvard professor Lester Grinspoon and Peter Hedblom, "In 1966 Abbott Laboratories sold the equivalent of two million doses of methamphetamine in powder form to a Long Island criminal dealer".[12]

21st century

In 2001, the company acquired Knoll, the pharmaceutical division of BASF.[citation needed] In 2002, it divested the Selsun Blue brand to Chattem.[citation needed] Later in 2002, the company sold Clear Eyes and Murine to Prestige Brands.[citation needed] In 2004, the company acquired TheraSense, a diabetes-care company, which it merged with its MediSense division to become Abbott Diabetes Care.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

In 2007, Abbott acquired Kos Pharmaceuticals for $3.7 billion in cash.[13] At the time of acquisition, Kos marketed Niaspan, which raises levels of "good", or HDL, cholesterol and Advicor, a Niaspan combination drug for patients with multiple lipid disorders.

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 11 July 2007, Abbott announced that it had terminated its agreement with GE because the parties could not agree on the terms of the deal.[14]

On 8 September 2007, the company completed the sale of the UK manufacturing plant at Queenborough to Aesica Pharmaceuticals, a private equity-owned UK manufacturer.[citation needed]

In November 2007, Abbott announced that Ross Products would be renamed Abbott Nutrition.[15]

On 26 February 2009, the company completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics based in Santa Ana, California. Abbott sold this business to Johnson & Johnson in February 2017.[16] In 2009, Abbott opened a satellite research and development facility at Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[17]

In February 2010, Abbott completed its $6.2 billion (EUR 4.5 billion) acquisition of the pharmaceuticals unit of Solvay S.A..[18] This provided Abbott with a large and complementary portfolio of pharmaceutical products and also expanded its presence in key emerging markets.[19]

On 22 March 2010, the company completed its acquisition of a Hollywood, Florida-based LIMS company STARLIMS.[citation needed] 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 21 May 2010, Abbott Laboratories said it would buy Piramal Healthcare Ltd.'s Healthcare Solutions unit for $2.2[20] billion to become the biggest drug company in India.[21]


In 2004, Abbott spun off its hospital products division into a new 14,000 employee company named Hospira.[22] Hospira was later acquired by Pfizer in 2015.[23]

In October 2011, Abbott announced that it planned to separate into two companies, one research-based pharmaceuticals and the other in medical devices, generic drugs sold internationally, and diagnostics, with the latter retaining the Abbott name.[24][25] Abbott Nutrition, whose products include Similac, Pedialyte, Glucerna, and Ensure, also retained the Abbott name.[26] The company announced that the spun-off research-based pharmaceuticals company would be named AbbVie in March 2012.[26] In preparation for the reorganization, Abbott made severe budget cuts and took a $478 million charge in Q3-2012 to pay for the restructuring.[27] The separation was effective as of 1 January 2013. AbbVie was officially listed in the New York Stock Exchange on 2 January 2013.[28]

Further developments

On 16 May 2014, it was announced that Abbott would acquire the holding company Kalo Pharma Internacional S.L. for $2.9 billion in order to secure the 73% it held of Chilean pharmaceutical company, CFR Pharmaceuticals, which the company said would more than double its branded generic drug portfolio.[29][30][31]

In December 2014, the company acquired Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer Veropharm (Voronezh) in a deal worth $410 million, which included three manufacturing facilities.[29][32] Abbott, which already employs 1,400 people in Russia, said it planned to set up a manufacturing presence in the country when the deal closed.[33]

In September 2015, the company announced it had completed its acquisition of Tendyne Holdings, Inc., a private medical device company focused on developing minimally invasive mitral valve replacement therapies.[34] Tendyne was acquired for a total transaction value of $250 million.[34] In January 2020, the Tendyne Mitral Valve became the world's first commercially available solution for Mitral Valve Replacement Technology.[citation needed] Abbott obtained CE Mark for the device which now makes it possible to implant it in Europe outside of a clinical setting. The US clinical study for federal approval is still ongoing.[35]

In February 2016, the company announced it would acquire Alere for $5.8 billion.[36][37] In January 2017, Abbott announced it would acquire St. Jude Medical for $25 billion (each share receiving $46.75 in cash & 0.8708 shares of Abbott common stock, equating to an approximate value of $85).[29][38][39] On 3 October 2017, the company closed the Alere acquisition making the surviving entity the market leader player in the $7 billion point-of-care diagnostic space within the broader $50 billion in-vitro diagnostics market with this takeover.[40] With the acquisition of Alere, the company also obtained the subsidiary Arriva Medical, which is the largest mail-order diabetic supplier.[citation needed] Arriva Medical announced business closure after Abbott acquisition effective 31 December 2017.[41]

In 2017, the FDA approved Abbott's FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system. The system is designed to read glucose levels through a self-applied sensor and does not require standard finger sticks.[42]

In August 2018, Reuters reported that "Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) was among the top five companies for branded generic drugs in Russia, the company's chief financial officer, Brian Yoor, said in January."[43]

Nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 conducted using an Abbott Laboratories ID Now device

In November 2018, Abbott became the first medical device company to introduce a smartphone app glucose reader in the United States when it received FDA clearance to launch FreeStyle LibreLink.[44]

In January 2019, Abbott exercised its option to purchase Cephea Valve Technologies, Inc. who are developing a less-invasive replacement heart valve for people with mitral valve disease.[45]

In March 2020, Abbott received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for a Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 test to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.[46] Abbott's point-of-care test is regarded as a valuable development due to its small size, which is comparable to a small toaster, and rapid results – 5-minute positive, 13-minute negative.[47] Detroit became the first city to receive these tests on April 1, 2020.[48][49] Also in March, Abbott received EUA for a molecular COVID-19 test that runs on its m2000 RealTime lab-based platform.[50]

In April 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for its third COVID-19 test, an antibody test that helps detect the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV-2 using the company's ARCHITECT laboratory instruments.[51]

In May 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for another lab-based COVID-19 antibody test that helps detect the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV-2 using the company's Alinity i system.[51][52] Also in May, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for a molecular COVID-19 test for use on the company's AlinityTM m molecular laboratory instrument.[53]

In August 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for its $5, 15-minute, portable COVID-19 antigen test, BinaxNOW, which is compatible with Abbott's complementary mobile app named NAVICA.[54] The size of a credit card, the test has been called a potential game-changer because of its speed, massive scale, low cost and compatible app, giving tens of millions of people access to rapid testing.[55]

In October 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for its lab-based COVID-19 IgM antibody blood test.[56] In December 2020, Abbott's rapid antigen BinaxNOW COVID-19 test received EUA from the FDA for use at home with a prescription through a virtually guided online service. The first at-home, virtually guided rapid test, can provide results in 20 minutes.[57] Forbes reported that Abbott delivered more than 400 million COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began in early 2020 and 300 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone. The article also reported that the COVID-19 tests produced by Abbott have been key for detecting the complex virus and getting patients treatment if they need it.[58] Additionally, a Wall Street Journal editorial reported, “More and faster testing such as the low-cost rapid antigen test by Abbott Laboratories that the Food and Drug Administration approved last week will allow more schools and workplaces to reopen.”[59]

Today, Abbott operates in over 160 countries.[60]

In September 2021 the business announced it would acquire Walk Vascular, LLC.[61]

Acquisition history

Abbott Laboratories Acquisitions
  • Abbott Laboratories (Est. 1885, Abbott Alkaloidal Company)
    • Ross Laboratories (Acq 1964)
    • SmithKline Beecham (Acq 1982, later sold)
    • Knoll (Acq 2001)
    • Selsun Blue (Sold to Chattem 2002)
    • Murine (Sold to Prestige Brands2002)
    • Clear Eyes (Sold to Prestige Brands2002)
    • i-STAT (Acq 2004)
    • TheraSense (Acq 2004)
    • Guidant (vascular device division) (Acq 2006)
      • IntraLase Corp (Acq 2007)
    • Advanced Medical Optics (Acq 2009)
    • Solvay Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2010)
    • STARLIMS (Acq 2010)
      • Lab Data Management Ltd (Acq 2008)
    • IDEV Technologies (Acq 2013)
    • OptiMedica Corporation (Acq 2013)
    • Veropharm (Acq 2014)
    • Topera, Inc (Acq 2014)
    • Kalo Pharma Internacional S.L. (Acq 2014)
    • Tendyne Holdings Inc. (Acq 2015)
    • Alere (Acq 2016)
      • Epocal, Inc. (Acq 2013)
      • Arriva Medical (Acq 2012)
    • St. Jude Medical (Est 1976, Acq 2016)
      • Pacesetter, Inc. (Acq 1994)
      • Daig Corporation (Acq 1996)
      • Heart Valve Company (Acq 1996)
      • Biocor Industria (Acq 1996)
      • Ventritex (Acq 1997)
      • Tyco International (Angio-Seal division) (Acq 1999)
      • Endocardial Solutions (Acq 2005)
      • Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (Acq 2005)
      • MediGuide (Acq 2008)
      • AGA Medical (Acq 2010)
      • LightLab Imaging (Acq 2010)
      • Nanostim Inc (Acq 2013)
      • Endosense (Acq 2013)
      • CardioMEMS Inc. (Acq 2014)
      • Spinal Modulation (Acq 2015)
      • Thoratec Corporation (Acq 2015)
    • Cephea Valve Technologies, Inc. (Acq 2019)
    • Walk Vascular, LLC (Acq 2021)



For the fiscal year 2020, Abbott Laboratories reported earnings of US$4.495 billion, with an annual revenue of US$34.608 billion, which grew 8.48% on an organic basis versus the year prior. Abbott's year-end 2020 stock price was $109.49.[3][62]

Year Revenue
in mil. US$
Net income
in mil. US$
Total assets
in mil. US$
Price per share
in US$
2005 22,338 3,372 29,141 17.37
2006 22,476 1,717 36,178 17.46
2007 25,914 3,606 39,714 21.34
2008 29,528 4,881 42,419 21.89
2009 30,765 5,746 52,582 19.51
2010 35,167 4,626 60,574 20.75
2011 21,407 4,728 60,277 21.26
2012 19,050 5,963 67,235 26.57
2013 19,657 2,576 42,953 31.90 69,000
2014 20,247 2,284 41,207 37.39 77,000
2015 20,405 4,423 41,247 43.16 74,000
2016 20,998 1,400 52,666 38.65 75,000
2017 27,390 477 76,250 47.50 99,000
2018 30,578 2,368 67,173 69.50 103,000
2019 31,904 3,687 67,887 86.86 107,000
2020 34,608 4,495 72,548 109.49 109,000


On 19 March 2019, it was reported that Abbott was a long-term user of the Double Irish tax structure, a legal but controversial Irish taxation tool used by U.S. multinationals to reduce U.S. corporate taxes on non-U.S profits.[63] Abbott's Irish holding company, the Bermuda-resident Abbott Laboratories Vascular Enterprises (ALVE), employed no staff in 2017, but was responsible for distributing Abbot's products and licensing its technology worldwide.[63] Newly filed accounts showed that ALVE was incorporated in 2003 and had a pre-tax profit of €2 billion in 2016 and 2017 on revenues of €5.2 billion; no taxation was paid on these profits.[63] ALVE had never filed accounts in Ireland since 2003 as it was structured as an unlimited liability company (ULC); however, new EU accounts directives required ALVE to file Irish accounts in 2018.[63] These accounts listed ALVE's registered office as the address of Ireland's largest tax-law firm, Matheson, who have been identified with Double Irish tax structures for Microsoft and Google.[63][64]

In September 2021, the Irish Times reported that Abbott was using the Single Malt tax tool to shield profits on its COVID-19 testing kits.[65][66]



Abbott's FreeStyle libre

Abbott's core businesses focus on diagnostics, medical devices, branded generic medicines and nutritional products, which have been supplemented through acquisitions.

As of 2021, the firm's divisions are:[67]

  • Nutrition:[29] Pediatric nutrition (e.g., Similac, Isomil, and Gain), Adult Nutrition (e.g., Ensure and ZonePerfect) and special dietary needs (e.g., Glucerna and Juven)
  • Diagnostics:[29] Core Lab, Molecular, Point of Care, Rapid diagnostics and Informatics
  • Medical devices: Rhythm Management, Electrophysiology, Heart Failure, Structural Heart, Neuromodulation, Diabetes Care[2]
  • Established Pharmaceuticals:[67] Branded generic drugs sold exclusively in developing markets


As of 2017, Abbott Laboratories shares are mainly held by institutional investors (The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation and others).[68]


Miles D. White
Robert B. Ford

Miles D. White is the executive chairman of Abbott.[27] He joined Abbott in 1984, serving in management positions including senior vice president of diagnostic operations, executive vice president, and long-time CEO. 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.[69]

In November 2019, White announced that he was stepping down as CEO after 21 years in charge of Abbott. At the end of March 2020, Robert B. Ford, a long-time Abbott executive, took over as the company's president and chief executive officer.[70] Ford joined Abbott in 1996, serving in various management positions including executive vice president of the company's medical device business, which is now the company's largest operation.[71] White remains the company's executive chairman.[72]


Abbott was ranked 134th on the Fortune 500 list of largest US-based corporations in 2015.[73] Fortune also named Abbott among its Blue Ribbon companies in 2018, Change the World list in 2018, and among its best big companies to work for in 2020.[74][75][76]

The company has been listed on Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies" list and named a top company by the National Association for Female Executives.[77][78] The company has also been recognized as a top company by DiversityInc for diversity within the company.[79]

Abbott is among Fortune's Most Admired companies[80] and has been included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for seven consecutive years.[81][82]



Pediatric nutrition products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:[83]

  • Similac
  • Pedialyte
  • PediaSure

Adult nutrition products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:

  • Ensure
  • Glucerna (Ensure Diabetes Care in India)
  • Juven
  • ZonePerfect


Diagnostics products manufactured by Abbott include:[83]

  • i-STAT
    • While intended for a human audience, i-STAT point of care analyzers also demonstrate utility for the veterinary profession[84] and are marketed by Abaxis.
  • Alinity
  • Architect
  • BinaxNOW[85]

Medical devices

  • FreeStyle Libre

Cardiovascular devices manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:[83]

  • MitraClip
  • Confirm Rx
  • Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder
  • Heartmate
  • Xience
  • Gallant ICD
  • CentriMag

Neuromodulation devices manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:

  • BurstDR Technology
  • Proclaim DRG Neurostimulation System
  • Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation System



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.[86]

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 (MRC) of the United Kingdom received US$191 million, and in addition, Abbott was asked to pay the MRC a further $7.5 million over five years from 2006 providing that Humira remains on the market.[citation needed]


On 2 October 2012, the company was charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing of Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA. The court also ordered Abbott to a five-year term of probation and court supervision.[87] Shareholders then brought derivative suits against the company directors for breach of fiduciary duty.[88][89]

Following Abbott's spinoff of its research-based pharmaceuticals business, it no longer owns the commercial rights and associated responsibilities for Humira and Depakote.[90]


Since 2015, Abbott has been the title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors.[91]

See also

Notes and references

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  87. ^ 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, 7 May 2012. Accessed 17 August 2014.
  88. ^ 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.).
  89. ^ "Abbott, Shareholders Agree To Settle Depakote Marketing Suit – Law360".
  90. ^ Krauskopf, Ransdell Pierson (21 October 2011). "Abbott ultra-bullish on Humira despite spinoff plan". Reuters.
  91. ^ "ABBOTT CELEBRATES THE POWER OF HEALTH AND ACHIEVEMENT AS FIRST-EVER TITLE SPONSOR OF WORLD MARATHON MAJORS". World Marathon Majors. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2015.

External links

  • Official website
  • Business data for Abbott:
    • Google Finance
    • Yahoo! Finance
    • SEC filings