AbbVie and Abbott
Abbott Laboratories has a 125 year legacy in the pharmaceutical industry,
which was started by founder Dr. Wallace C. Abbott with the “dosimetric
granules” he crafted from medicinal plants. In 2013, Abbott, a single
pharmaceutical company, announced it would split into two publicly traded
companies. Its subsidiary named “AbbVie” would take control
of the most popular proprietary drugs in the family. This involved future
research, development, and new testing. Richard Gonzalez, chief executive
at AbbVie, explained the company would continue finding treatments for
conditions thought untreatable and solving problems thought unsolvable.
Abbott would begin focusing more on diversified medical products.
AbbVie’s cornerstone is research and innovation. The business strives
to provide patients with benefits concerning the world’s most common
diseases, especially within the realm of immunology, kidney disease, liver
disease, oncology, and neuroscience. AbbVie’s scientific breakthroughs
have led to the development of vital drugs that treat HIV, psoriasis,
rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and other autoimmune disorders.
Abbott promises to help people live healthier lives. The company utilizes
the newest technologies to develop improvements for the healthcare field.
The diversity of Abbott offers a broad line of products, which benefit
people in all stages of life. Abbot encourages good nutrition, develops
state-of-the-art medical devices, pioneers new diagnostic procedures,
and creates medicine that helps people remain healthy.
The future of Abbott & AbbVie contains numerous drugs and products
that await FDA approval. One of the most promising is a therapy for hepatitis
C. Other drugs on the horizon include treatments for blood cancers. These
may prove to be some of the most profitable in company history.
Drugs or Medical Devices Recalled Against AbbVie and Abbott
Through the years, this pharmaceutical giant experienced some major recalls.
One of the biggest involved intravenous bags. From 1969 to 1971, 50 deaths
and 400 injuries occurred from contaminated IV bags. Due to “objectionable”
equipment and plant conditions, the FDA concluded the screw cap closures
became filled with bacteria, which caused the potential for serious illness.
Other recalls involved Depakote, an anti-seizure drug, and Synthroid, a
thyroid medication. The first Synthroid recall was due to a labeling error.
The second recall was due to bottle defects, which could affect the stability
of the tablets at the end of their shelf life. In February 2014, the company
saw another recall of its blood glucose monitors.
Verdicts Against AbbVie and Abbott
Over the years, there have been many court cases with verdicts against
AbbVie & Abbott. In 2012, the company agreed to pay $1.6 billion for
its illegal advertising of Depakote, a drug originally developed to control
seizures. In this country’s history, this was the second largest
payment by a drug company. This verdict came with court-supervised probation
and reporting obligations. James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, explained
this settlement proved evidence of a deep commitment to public health
and may be a deterrent to other pharmaceutical companies. Abbott plead
guilty to misbranding Depakote and promoting the drug as a means to control
aggression in elderly dementia patients and as a treatment for schizophrenia.
Neither of these uses were approved by the FDA. Abbott issued a statement
that admitted the company maintained a special sales team to market this
drug in nursing homes and similar facilities, despite the absence of scientific
data that proved it was safe and effective. In 1999, Abbott was forced
to stop trials that studied Depakote as a treatment for dementia. It appears
the drug was shown to cause adverse reactions, including dehydration and
anorexia. Later, it was discovered that Abbott paid millions of dollars
in rebates to pharmacy providers who touted this drug for “off-label”
uses. This blatant behavior clearly displayed how AbbVie & Abbott
placed profits ahead of patients. One year later, the company agreed to
another hefty $524 million fine for giving kickbacks to doctors who used
Abbott’s products while treating circulatory disorders.
The latest verdict against Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc. forced the
company to pay $2.2 million to a plaintiff in a Humira lawsuit. According
to the case, a woman who used this drug almost died of a fungal infection
that was nearly impossible to diagnose. If Abbott supplied adequate warnings
of dangers linked to Humira, physicians would have been able to uncover
the infection before it became near-fatal. On Abbott’s behalf, lawyers
claimed the drug’s label provided warnings of infection risks. Despite
an avid defense, the judge found Abbott & AbbVie responsible for negligent
actions and resolved the case with the large settlement.
Dangerous Drugs and Lawsuits Filed
Besides recalls, AbbVie & Abbott have dealt with a number of lawsuits
concerning other dangerous drugs produced by the entities. For instance,
Androgel is a treatment created for men with low testosterone. After introduction,
numerous negative side effects were reported. This drug was proven to
increase the risks of stroke, heart attack, prostate cancer, and kidney
and liver problems. Since this drug can be transferred from person to
person, children who came in contact with the product seemed to develop
early puberty as well. Sleep apnea, low sperm count, and breast development
are other known side effects. After these problems were noted, the FDA
announced it would wage more research into this testosterone replacement
therapy and similar products. Dozens of men have filed lawsuits against
AbbVie & Abbott claiming the companies withheld vital information
regarding the dangers of these drugs.
In 1999, the FDA entered into a consent decree with Abbott. This agreement
stated the company would discontinue manufacturing, distribution, and
sales of approximately 65 blood and urine tests. It was a result of six
years of manufacturing deficiencies in the diagnostics division and failure
to fix multiple problems within the organization. Abbott was forced to
pay $100 million in fines to the FDA and suffered a $250 million loss
in sales. Despite the odds, Abbott was able to successfully place the
sanctions in the past. In 2012, the pharmaceutical giant demonstrated
the ability to remain in compliance with good manufacturing practices.
Both Abbott & AbbVie continue to grow and develop products and drugs.