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Abbott Laboratories SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52612553| Sep 2020| 15 pages

COMPANY PROFILE -Abbott Laboratories

Business Sector :Healthcare

Operating Geography :USA, North America, Global

About Abbott Laboratories :

Abbott Laboratories is an American company founded by Dr. Wallace C. Abbott. The company was among the pioneers of the scientific practice of pharmacy. The company has a tradition of helping people worldwide live a healthy life. Abbott is present in more than 160 countries and employs 103,000 people. The company has products in Cardiovascular, Diabetics, Diagnostics, Neuromodulation, Nutrition and Pharmaceuticals. Some of its star products ranging in this spectrum are FreeStyle Libre, MitraClip, Pedialyte, Similac, Ensure, Glucerna, ZonePerfect, i-STAT. It has been one of Fortune’s most admired companies since 1984, and number 1 in medical products from 2014-2019.
From the past 132 years, Abbott has been a pioneer in developing some groundbreaking medicines, vaccines, test kits, etc. In 1985 the company witnessed a historical moment on attaining the approval of the first licensed test to identify the HIV virus in the blood which helped in securing the safety of the blood supply. By far this was one of the most prominent accomplishments and the earliest significant medical victory against the seemingly unstoppable threat. Today, the company is striving hard to help curb the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) by launching a molecular test on its ID NOW platform to detect novel coronavirus. Molecular testing helps identify the presence of a SARS-CoV-2 or coronavirus infection. Currently it is the fastest available molecular point-of- care test that detects the virus in less than 5minutes. On 28th of March 2020, Abbott received approval from the FDA for its molecular test for the identification of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Abbott's USP or Unique Selling Proposition lies in being one of the top pharmaceutical companies across the world and the largest pharmaceutical company in India, which is the world's second-largest country by population. Also, the company continues to be among Fortune’s Most Admired Companies as of 2019.
Abbot Laboratories Mission is to “building life-changing technologies that keep heart healthy, nourish the body at every stage of life, help one feel and move better, and bring one information, medicines and breakthroughs to manage their health.”

Abbott Laboratories Revenue :

$31,904 million – FY ending 31st December 2019(YoY growth of +4.2%)
$30,578 million – FY ending 31st December 2018

Competitive Analysis of Abbott Laboratories

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that encourages people to live healthy at all stages of life. The company's innovative product portfolio spans across 4 major areas viz., Diagnostic Products, Authorized Pharmaceutical Products, Vascular Products, and Nutritional Products. The FreeStyle Libre System is an innovative and convenient way to get regular glucose readings, people with diabetes get accurate results faster and with minimal pain or disruption. This revolutionary sensing technology has got Abbott to a leading position in continuous glucose monitoring stems, across the globe. Therefore, the SWOT report is essential to manifest a discussion on all the pertinent internal strategic factors of Abbott that contribute to the trajectory growth of the company. The SWOT Analysis of Abbott substantiates the company's current major strengths and opportunities from its external environment that can be consolidated to further strengthen the company. The report also bestows intelligence on Abbott's internal weaknesses and external threats that can cripple its growth.
The core strength of Abbott sprawls in having a broad array of diagnostics devices, medical devices, healthcare products, nutritional products and branded generic medicines. Furthermore, internal factors like Acquisition and Mergers for expanding its global presence, active and skilled employee base, mighty foothold in more than 160 countries, strong Research & Development, robust fiscal muscle, more than 130 years of experience etc. continue to strengthen the company.
Despite all the biggest strengths and core competencies, Abbott faces a crisis due to its internal weaknesses like product recalls, involvement in litigation and lawsuits damaging brand reputation, surging costs of R&D and unavailability of specific products mentioned on their website in many countries.
Abbott's deep focus on R&D, innovation and utilization of the latest technology creates a huge opportunity of growth for the company. For instance, in 2020 Abbott developed the coronavirus test kit, a fastest testing device that delivers results in minutes. This development not only creates a trailblazer growth opportunity for Abbott but is a gesture of outstanding help to the society, healthcare providers, experts, lawmakers, etc. This tiny portable device that weighs less than 7 pounds delivers results in less than 5 minutes in case of positive patients and in nearly 13 minutes if negative.
However, even a leading pharmaceutical company encounters threats from factors like obsolescence of technology, novelty and technological developments by competitors, increasing competition threat from existing players and new entrants, alternate products etc.
The SWOT analysis for Abbot Laboratories is presented below in a matrix followed by detailed analysis:
1. Strong focus on high potential fields
2. Broad geographic reach spanning 160 countries
3. Operating systems designed for success
4. Market leadership in multiple fields
5. Strong performance by all four major business segments
1. Controversies affecting the brand image
1. Growing market for personalized medicines
2. Rising demand for clinical diagnostics driven by infectious and chronic diseases
1. Risks associated with mergers and acquisitions
2. Rising use of technology in healthcare has led to increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks
3. Government regulations regarding drug pricing controls
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Abbott Laboratories



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1. Risks associated with mergers and acquisitions: A key part of Abbott’s growth and competitive strategy is mergers and acquisitions. But these deals are fraught with a lot of risks. Abbott has been affected by many regulatory and legal issues during previous deals. Many of these were not directly Abbott’s fault. In 2016, the acquisition process of St. Jude Medical faced hurdles when St. Jude faced accusations that its heart monitoring equipment is prone to hacking. Already, Abbott was dealing with problems regarding acquisition of another company Alere, whose business was undergoing probes for accounting issues. In 2015, Abbott had acquired Mylan. But in 2016, the value of the Mylan stake fell due to uproar against the increase in price of the Epipen allergy shot. Though they we were not completely Abbott’s fault, to some extent it was the Abbott CEO’s decisions that led to these situations. Mylan was having issues earlier too, in its failed acquisition attempt of Perrigo and aggressively resisting a takeover from Teva. Though most of Alere’s problems came out in the open only after the deal with Abbott was done, Abbott was aware of one government investigation, which should have been a warning sign.

2. Rising use of technology in healthcare has led to increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks: Healthcare sector is increasingly using technology to provide better care for patients. However, the rising use of technology brings with it the threat of cyber-attacks. Hackers can implant malicious software in medical devices at the distribution center in the supply chain, from where the devices are sent to various hospitals and patients who use them are at risk. Hackers can also disrupt hospital operations by hacking into IoT-enabled water systems and HVAC systems. Abbott has also been affected by cyber security concerns in the past. In 2017, 500,000 pacemakers where recalled by the US Food and Drug administration over hacking vulnerabilities. Many of these pacemakers were manufactured by Abbott and sold under St. Jude Medical brand. Abbott had then announced a firmware update to fix the danger.

3. Government regulations regarding drug pricing controls: US drug prices have been found to be higher by as much as four times when compared to the prices in similarly developed countries. Overall medication costs are also significantly more in the US even after subtracting rebates. A proposal presented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019 recommends giving the federal government the power to negotiate and set a limit on the price of drugs. All US citizens, and not just Medicare patients, will be positively impacted by this bill. By virtue of this bill, the government will also be able to penalize drug companies who do not follow the price limits. However, lesser profits in the pharma industry will translate to it being less lucrative for investors. The demand for new research and innovative cures will thus be reduced and will directly impact companies such as Abbot.

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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies


1. The SWOT and PESTEL analysis report of Abbott Laboratories substantiates the complex internal and external factors influencing the company's brand, its operations, business model, market strategy and growth trajectory.
2. The SWOT analysis appraises the strengths and opportunities that Abbott possesses and how it strategizes itself to overcome its weaknesses and threats in its operating macro environment
3. Recognizing the role of technology and the company's core competencies in shaping Abbott's business and bestowing the company with a competitive advantage over its competitors
4. The PESTLE analysis of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry helps to identify the factors that compel and restrain the entire industry and largely Abbott.
5. The PESTLE/ PESTEL/ STEEPL Analysis renders the in-depth analysis of all external factors specifically, political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental, highlighting their consequence on Abbott's business model, marketing and growth strategy
6. Abstract information on Abbott's business diversification, procuring its key business segments and highlighting its major competitors
7. A thorough company analysis to obtain perspicacity into company information, company profile, business model, business plans and marketing strategy
8. Summary of Abbott's mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and alliances, that Abbott endorsed, and the business aims or synergies that were achieved with them
9. Analysis of Abbott’s USP or unique selling proposition, mission statement, and vision statement. With a peek into Abbott's key performance indicators, core values, success factors, value proposition, and core competencies.
10. Discussion on Abbott's business model, extending to the analysis of key business segments and business case study
References used in Abbott Laboratories Analysis Report

1. Annual Report 2018 -

2. Abbot Laboratories revenue -

3. Secret trove reveals bold ‘crusade’ to make OxyContin a blockbuster -

4. Abbott Laboratories to pay $1.6 billion over misbranding drug -

The detailed complete set of references are available on request in the 'Complete report' on purchase.

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Abbott Laboratories SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & PESTLE.COM

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Abbott Laboratories SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Nipunn V and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

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