Abbott: A Strong Union One Year Later

Abbott's union with St. Jude Medical is paying off already: A look at the first year together.

Abbott is No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list 


A year after Abbott acquired St. Jude Medical, it's clear the pair are even better together.

In 2017, the company grew its leadership in cardiovascular, with No. 1 and No. 2 positions in nearly every segment of the more than $30 billion market, strengthening its portfolio in atrial fibrillation, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac rhythm management, structural heart and vascular disease. Abbott also drove 40 percent growth in its neuromodulation business, which addresses pain and movement disorders, and boosted the company to the No. 1 spot in spinal cord neurostimulation.

In those businesses, as well as in Abbott's diagnostics, nutrition and medicines businesses, Abbott launched more than 20 products around the world in 2017, adding to its product portfolio of more than 1,500 diversified offerings.

"Our devices business had a spectacular year, exceeding many expectations," said Robert Ford, Abbott's executive vice president, Medical Devices. "Just one year since the acquisition of St. Jude Medical, we have doubled the growth rate of that business. We did this by remaining steadfast in our commitment to deliver innovative, life-changing technologies."

Hitting integration goals

A combination of complementary products, leadership positions in Abbott's segments, cultural fit and a strong pipeline helped meet the company's integration goals. So did Abbott's integration expertise, led by a specialized internal transition organization that's been in place since 2007, leading the company to success on dozens of transactions.

"We have a strong track record of successfully integrating businesses on a global scale and accelerating growth, and the integration of St. Jude Medical — the largest acquisition in Abbott's history — was no exception," Ford said. "We delivered on, and in many cases, exceeded, our integration goals.

"I attribute our success squarely on the employees – from both organizations – who shared the vision and passion for what we could be together," Ford added. "We knew from the start we had a strong cultural fit, but I never cease to be amazed by the collaborative spirit and relentless enthusiasm of our combined teams to deliver for our customers."

Value for health systems

Indeed, employees share the vision to go beyond products to help health care professionals manage the entire disease state, while helping to control costs.

For heart disease – the top reason for hospitalization for people older than 65, with the most cost to Medicare than any other diagnosis1 – the company has technology leadership in every category, offering a complementary portfolio of innovative products that are helping to set a new standard of care.

Abbott integrates technologies and operations to allow better patient management and to partner with customers more effectively and efficiently. The Merlin.net patient care network, for example, imports cardiac information from a patient's implanted device remotely to their clinicians, enabling them to more effectively monitor and manage the patient's condition.  This not only improves care, but also can help reduce hospital readmission rates and the associated cost to hospital systems.

"Our new, stronger medical devices business is focused on helping our customers grow and on providing physicians and their patients with even more options, more life-changing technologies that will drive value, improve outcomes and empower people to live their healthiest and fullest lives," Ford said.

Abbott: Connected Devices Turn Data Into Better Health

Abbott's Robert Ford Joins a Panel Discussing the Potential for Connected Medical Devices to Improve Patient Care and Drive Better Outcomes.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Today's medical devices are creating terabytes of information that gives patients, doctors and health providers real-time insight into someone's vital statistics, heart health and even bloodwork.

But can all this new information really make someone healthier?

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Abbott Introduces the Afinion™ 2 Analyzer Rapid Test System for Diabetes Management

State-of-the-art multi-assay test system helps people with diabetes get the HbA1c results they need within three minutes — allowing more time for consultation and care during a single healthcare visit.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced the launch of its Afinion™ 2 analyzer in the U.S., the newest generation of the Afinion test system. The Afinion 2 builds on Abbott's heritage in diabetes care by empowering patients with information about their health that they can discuss with their providers during a single visit.

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Abbott's Xience Sierra Heart Stent Receives National Reimbursement in Japan to Treat People with Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Japan.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced that Japan's Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW) granted national reimbursement for XIENCE Sierra™, the newest generation of the company's gold-standard XIENCE everolimus-eluting coronary stent. XIENCE Sierra improves upon previous versions of XIENCE with an enhanced stent design, a new delivery system, and unique sizes to help doctors treat challenging cases.

XIENCE Sierra was designed to help doctors more easily treat people with difficult-to-treat blockages that involve multiple or totally blocked arteries or complications such as diabetes. Complex cases are increasingly prevalent as people with coronary artery disease are living longer.

"Extensive clinical data and 10 years of real-world experience with the XIENCE family of stents provide doctors with confidence that they are treating their patients with one of the safest stents available," said Chuck Brynelsen, senior vice president of Abbott's vascular business. "National reimbursement of XIENCE Sierra will provide people in Japan with greater access to this life-changing technology that can help them live their best lives."

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Japan. National reimbursement in Japan will enable doctors to treat more patients with XIENCE Sierra through the country's health insurance plans. XIENCE Sierra was approved in Japan on April 4, 2018, received CE Mark in Europe late last year, and is under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

XIENCE has been studied in over 100 clinical trials and in 10 years of global real-world experience. Its safety profile is unprecedented with consistent low rates of stent thrombosis, even in complex cases. More than eight million people worldwide have received a XIENCE stent since its initial regulatory approval.