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Abbott Laboratories

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Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Abbott Laboratories is a global pharmaceutical company and manufacturer of health care products. The company's pharmaceuticals include HIV treatment Norvir, rheumatoid arthritis therapy Humira, and Depakote for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Its nutritional products division makes the well known brands as Similac infant formula and Ensure nutritional supplements. Abbott also makes diagnostic instruments and tests, including diabetes care and vascular medical devices. The company sells its products in about 130 countries through affiliates and distributors.[1]

In the fiscal year ending in December of 2009, the company reported sales of approximately $30.765 billion dollars and had 73,000 employees.[2]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Abbott Laboratories has been a corporate funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[3] See ALEC Corporations for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Animal testing

Abbott Laboratories does animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of a facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: Abbott Laboratories, Park City, IL. [4]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Contract testing

Abbott Laboratories contract tests out to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). [5] Huntingdon Life Sciences is the 3rd largest contract research organization (CRO) in the world and the largest animal testing facility in all of Europe. Firms hire CROs to conduct animal toxicity tests for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. HLS has a long history of gross animal welfare violations. See also Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Drug issues

Antivirals (Norvir)

Drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS are various classes of toxic chemotherapies known as "antivirals" or "antiretrovirals". AIDS drugs manufactured by Abbott include Norvir (protease inhibitor).

See also AIDS industry.

Social Responsibility Report

In May 2007, Abbott released a report on its corporate social responsibility practices, which included company efforts in "governance and compliance; environment, health and safety; global workforce; social investment and philanthropy; and key issues, such as expanding access to health care," according to an Abbott press release. Among the CSR efforts that Abbott highlighted was:

"becoming the first company to partner with Environmental Defense on the GreenFleet initiative to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions in fleet vehicles, with preliminary data indicating a 4 percent reduction in emissions."[6]

Corporate donations

Abbott donates products to AmeriCares.

Public relations

Americans for Medical Progress's (AMP) board of directors consists of senior executives and other representatives employed by the pharmaceutical and vivisection industries. Board members represent multinational, billion dollar corporations as well as universities and institutions receiving government grants for vivisection. [7] AMP runs media campaigns targeting animal rights, welfare and health advocacy groups. See also Americans for Medical Progress.

Lobbying

In 2009 Abbott Laboratories spent $$4,840,000 on lobbying expenses. $$1,080,000 went to outside firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists. [8]

Suspended from drug industry lobby group

In February of 2006, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), a British lobby group, announced a suspension of Abbott Laboratories. ABPI's did not specify the particulars involved, however, buried deep inside the 112 page document, it was revealed that in 2004, company representatives had taken dozens of physicians greyhound racing. One senior executive had taken a health professional to a lap dancing club and another had provided senior hospital consultants with center court tickets to watch tennis at Wimbledon.

ABPI ruled that this level of hospitality breached its code of practice and suspended the company from its board of management for six months.

An anonymous whistle blower triggered the investigation, complaining that drug reps had taken 27 doctors to the greyhound track in Manchester in January and 36 others in September of 2004. He also complained that two Abbott employees had taken a senior physician to a lap dancing club. At the club, a senior manager borrowed £1,000 for the evening out from the other Abbott employee, a drug rep.[9], [10]

Political contributions

Abbott Laboratories gave $$1,613,933 to federal candidates in the 2008 election cycle through its political action committee (PAC) - 45% going to Democrats and 55% to Republicans.[11]


Key executives

  • Miles White - Chairman & CEO
  • Thomas Freyman - Executive VP & CFO
  • Laura Schumacher - Executive VP, Secretary & General Counsel[12]

Executive compensation

Miles White was the top wage earner in 2007 among pharmaceutical CEOs, according to Fierce Pharma.

  • Total Compensation: $33.4 million
  • 2007 Revenue: $25.91B
  • 2006 Revenue: $22.47B
  • Change: 15.3%
"White made $33.4 million in, up 24 percent from 2006. The pay hike was rooted in the value of his stock options: $14.8 million in 2007 versus $8.5 million in 2006. His base salary was virtually the same. White received a little over $1 million in other compensation, which covered $851,678 in pension plan-related payments and $103,292 on personal use of Abbott's aircraft."[13]

Contact

Abbott Laboratories
100 Abbott Park Rd.
Abbott Park, IL 60064

Phone: 847-937-6100

Fax: 847-937-9555

Web address: http://www.abbott.com

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Company Description, Hoovers, accessed January 2011
  2. Company Financials, Hoovers, accessed March 2010
  3. Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, "Corporations and Trades Associations that Fund ALEC," Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, online report, 2003
  4. Facility Reports and Information: Abbott Laboratories, Park City, IL, Stop Animal Experimentation NOW!, accessed January 2011
  5. Inside Customers, SHAC.net, accessed December 2009
  6. Abbott Highlights Strong Performance in Corporate Social Responsibility in 2006 Global Citizenship Report," PR News Wire, Abbott press release, May 9, 2007
  7. Board of Directors, Americans for Medical Progress, accessed January 2011
  8. Abbott Laboratories lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, March 2010
  9. Company suspended from ABPI membership over breaches of code, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry , February 10, 2006
  10. Sarah Boseley, "Drug firm censured for lap dancing junket", The Guardian, February 14, 2006
  11. 2008 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed March 2010
  12. Company Financials, Hoovers, accessed March 2010
  13. Abbott's Miles White: CEO Pay, Fierce Pharma, May 2008