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. The firm has also been present in India for over 100 years through its subsidiary Abbott India Limited, and it is currently India's largest healthcare products company.
|Founded||1888Ravenswood, Chicago(as Abbott Alkaloidal Company) in|
|Founder||Wallace Calvin Abbott|
|Headquarters||Abbott Park, Illinois, U.S.|
|Products||Branded generic medicines|
|Revenue||US$43.1 billion (2021)|
|US$8.43 billion (2021)|
|US$7.07 billion (2021)|
|Total assets||US$75.2 billion (2021)|
|Total equity||US$35.8 billion (2021)|
Number of employees
|~113,000 (December 2021)|
|Footnotes / references|
Among its well-known products across the medical devices, diagnostics, and nutrition product divisions are Pedialyte, Similac, BinaxNOW, Ensure, Glucerna, ZonePerfect, FreeStyle Libre, i-STAT and MitraClip.
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. In 1922, the company moved from Ravenswood to North Chicago, Illinois.
Abbott's first international affiliate was in London in 1907; the company later added an affiliate in Montreal, Canada. Abbott India Ltd was originally incorporated on August 22, 1944, as Boots Pure Drug Company (India) Ltd. The company name was changed to The Boots Company (India) Ltd on November 1, 1971, and to Boots Pharmaceuticals Ltd on January 1, 1991. On October 31, 1995, the name was changed to Knoll Pharmaceuticals Ltd and on July 1, 2002, to their present name Abbott India Ltd.I 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. In 1962 Abbott entered into a joint venture with Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, to manufacture radio-pharmaceuticals. 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. 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.
In 1965, Abbott's expansion in Europe continued with offices in Italy and France.
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".
In 2001, the company acquired Knoll, the pharmaceutical division of BASF. In 2002, it divested the Selsun Blue brand to Chattem. Later in 2002, it sold Clear Eyes and Murine to Prestige Brands. In 2004, it 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 purchasing the vascular device division of Guidant.
In 2007, Abbott acquired Kos Pharmaceuticals for $3.7 billion in cash. 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, 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.
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.
In November 2007, Abbott announced that Ross Products would be renamed Abbott Nutrition.
On 26 February 2009, the company completed its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics based in Santa Ana, California. It sold this business to Johnson & Johnson in February 2017. In 2009, Abbott opened a satellite research and development facility at Research Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In February 2010, Abbott completed its $6.2 billion (EUR 4.5 billion) acquisition of the pharmaceuticals unit of Solvay S.A. This provided Abbott with a large complementary portfolio of pharmaceutical products and also expanded its presence in key emerging markets.
On 22 March 2010, the company completed its acquisition of a Hollywood, Florida-based laboratory information management system company STARLIMS. Under the terms of the deal, Abbott acquired the company for $14 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $123 million. On 21 May 2010, Abbott said it would buy Piramal Healthcare Ltd.'s Healthcare Solutions unit for $2.2 billion, thus becoming the biggest drug company in India.
In October 2011, Abbott planned to separate into two companies, one for research-based pharmaceuticals and the other for medical devices, generic drugs sold internationally, and diagnostics, with the latter retaining the Abbott name. Abbott Nutrition, whose products include Similac, Pedialyte, Glucerna, and Ensure, also retained the Abbott name. In March 2012, the company announced that the spun-off research-based pharmaceuticals company would be named AbbVie. In preparation for the reorganization, Abbott made severe budget cuts and took a $478 million charge in Q3-2012 to pay for the restructuring. The separation was effective as of 1 January 2013 and AbbVie was officially listed in the New York Stock Exchange on 2 January 2013.
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.
In December 2014, the company acquired Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer Veropharm (Voronezh) in a deal worth $410 million, which included three manufacturing facilities. Abbott, which already employed 1,400 people in Russia, said it planned to set up a manufacturing presence in the country when the deal closed.
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. Tendyne was acquired for a total transaction value of $250 million. In January 2020, the Tendyne Mitral Valve became the world's first commercially available solution for Mitral Valve Replacement Technology. 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.
In February 2016, the company announced it would acquire Alere for $5.8 billion. 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). 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. With the acquisition of Alere, the company also obtained the subsidiary Arriva Medical, which is the largest mail-order diabetic supplier. Arriva Medical announced business closure after Abbott acquisition effective 31 December 2017.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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. 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. Detroit became the first city to receive these tests on April 1, 2020. Also in March, the firm received EUA for a molecular COVID-19 test that runs on its m2000 RealTime lab-based platform. In April 2020, itt 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. In May 2020, it 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. Also in May, it received EUA from the FDA for a molecular COVID-19 test for use on the company's AlinityTM m molecular laboratory instrument.
In August 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for its $5, 15-minute, portable COVID-19 antigen test, BinaxNOW, which is compatible with its mobile app named NAVICA. 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.
In October 2020, Abbott received EUA from the FDA for its lab-based COVID-19 IgM antibody blood test. In December 2020, its 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.Forbes reported that the firm 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. 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.”
Today, Abbott operates in over 160 countries.
In September 2021 the business announced it would acquire Walk Vascular, LLC.
For the fiscal year 2021, Abbott Laboratories reported earnings of US$7.071 billion, with an annual revenue of US$43.075 billion, which grew 24.5% on an organic basis versus the year prior. Abbott's year-end 2021 stock price was $140.74.
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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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Abbott's core businesses focus on diagnostics, medical devices, branded generic medicines and nutritional products, which have been supplemented through acquisitions.
As of 2021[update], the firm's divisions are:
Miles D. White is the executive chairman of Abbott. He joined the firm 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.
In November 2019, White announced that he was stepping down as CEO after 21 years. At the end of March 2020, Robert B. Ford, a long-time Abbott executive, took over as president and chief executive officer. Ford joined Abbott in 1996, serving in various management positions including executive vice president of the company's medical device business. White remains the company's executive chairman.
Abbott was ranked 89th on the Fortune 500 list of largest US-based corporations in 2021. Fortune also named Abbott as one of its Top 50 World's Most Admired Companies in 2021, among its Blue Ribbon companies again in 2021, to its Change the World list in 2020, and among its Best Big Companies to Work For in 2021.
The company has been listed on Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies" list for 20 years in a row, named a top company by the National Association for Female Executives for 12 consecutive years, and included on “Science” magazine's Top 20 Employees list 17 times, most recently in 2020. The company has also been recognized as a top company by DiversityInc for diversity within the company for 18 consecutive years (2004-2021) and has been included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years.
Pediatric nutrition products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:
Adult nutrition products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:
Diagnostics products manufactured by Abbott include:
Cardiovascular devices manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:
Neuromodulation devices manufactured by Abbott Laboratories include:
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.
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.
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. Shareholders then brought derivative suits against the company directors for breach of fiduciary duty. Following Abbott's spinoff of its research-based pharmaceuticals business, it no longer owns the commercial rights and associated responsibilities for Humira and Depakote.
In 2021, two of Abbott Laboratories' subsidiaries, Arriva Medical LLC and Alere Inc, had to pay $160M to resolve claims that they had fraudulently billed Medicare for glucose monitors. Supposedly, Arriva used free glucose monitors to entice patients into placing more orders, then took kickbacks on the increased sales. The company was also accused of charging Medicare for glucose monitors given to ineligible patients, including patients who were dead.
In October 2001, the US Department of Justice, states attorneys general, and TAP Pharmaceutical Products, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, settled criminal and civil charges against TAP related to federal and state medicare fraud and illegal marketing of the drug leuprorelin. TAP paid a total of $875 million, which was a record high at the time. The $875 million settlement broke down to $290 million for violating the Prescription Drug Marketing Act, $559.5 million to settle federal fraud charges for overcharging Medicare, and $25.5 million reimbursement to 50 states and Washington, D.C., for filing false claims with the states' Medicaid programs. The case arose under the False Claims Act with claims filed by Douglas Durand, a former TAP vice president of sales, and Joseph Gerstein, a doctor at Tufts University's HMO practice. Durand, Gerstein, and Tufts shared $95 million of the settlement.
There have since been various suits concerning leuprorelin use, none successful. They either concern the oversubscription of the drug or undue warning about the side effects. Between 2010 and 2013, the FDA updated the Lupron drug label to include new safety information on the risk of thromboembolism, loss of bone density and convulsions. The FDA then asserted that the benefits of leuprorelin outweigh its risks when used according to its approved labeling. Since 2017, the FDA has been evaluating leuprorelin's connection to pain and discomfort in musculoskeletal and connective tissue.
In October 2003, Abbott Laboratories and two of its units agreed to pay a total of $600 million in the first combined civil settlement and criminal conviction for offering kickbacks to agents of "Operations Headwaters", an undercover investigation by the FBI.
In February 2022, Abbott recalled baby formulas from the market and shutdown their Michigan plant. This is after complaints of infants being sick with serious bacterial infections while consuming formula product made at the Sturgis plant. The recall caused a nationwide shortage of formula milk with at least 73% of baby products out of stock according to data firm Datasembly. In a recent development and with Abbotts' meeting the initial requirement of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the facility could start operation and begin production of other special and metabolic formulas in 2–3 weeks time.
Meanwhile, through a myriad of subsidiaries and system of inter-company charges involving a variation on the infamous so-called 'double Irish' structure, its local operations have also legally shaved their tax bills with the Exchequer despite pulling in huge sales.
At least 125 major U.S. companies have registered several hundred subsidiaries or investment funds at 70 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, a seven–story building in Dublin's docklands, according to a review of government and corporate records by The Wall Street Journal. The common thread is the building's primary resident: Matheson, an Irish law firm that specializes in ways companies can use Irish tax law.