Thinking Citizen Blog — Big Pharma VI: AbbVie (ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

John Muresianu
3 min readJan 22, 2022

Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day

Today’s Topic: Big Pharma VI: AbbVie (ABBV) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

This is the sixth in a series that began on 11/30 with a note on Vertex, followed by Pfizer (12/7). Johnson and Johnson (12/14) Roche (12/21), and Merck (1/11/22). AbbVie (ABBV) is the 2013 pharmaceutical spin-off from the original parent company, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) which now “sells medical devices, diagnostics, branded generic medicines, and nutritional products.” Currently, ABBV has a market capitalization of $240 billion. And ABT has a market capitalization of $236 billion. In this note, a little bit of history plus a breakdown of the revenues of both companies — in the case of ABT the data are for the latest reported calendar year (2020) and in the case of ABBV for the latest reported quarter. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE FOUNDING: Wallace Calvin Abbott (1857–1921)

1. Born in Bridgewater, Vermont. His father was a farmer who wanted his son to stop schooling at age 14 and become a farmer, but his mother insisted that Wallace be allowed to follow his dream of becoming a doctor which he did — attending the University of Michigan medical school, graduating in 1885.

2. Three years later, in the back of People’s Drug Store in Chicago, he began packaging alkaloids such as morphine, quinine, strychnine, and codeine, into “dosimetric granules” which would provide “more consistent and effectives dosages for patients.”

3. His first year sales: $2000.

ABBOTT LABS — SALES BREAKDOWN (2020) Total: $30 billion

1. Medical Devices: $11 bn

2. Diagnostics: $7 bn

3. Nutritionals: $7 bn

4. Generics: $4 bn

NB: For the revenue breakdown of the last reported quarter, see the sixth link below.


1. Immunology — $6.7 bn up 15%.

2. Hematologic Oncology — $1.5 bn up 8%

3. Neuroscience $1.6 bn up 25%

4. Aesthetics: $1.2 bn up 29%.

NB: Abbvie’s biggest drug is Humira which went off patent in 2016. Abbott acquired the rights to Humira when it purchased BASF pharma in 2000 for $6.9 bn from BASF, the world’s largest chemical company. Humira is the world’s best selling drug and has been called the “Swiss Army Knife of pharmaceutical drugs” with 10 approved uses in the US and 14 overseas.

Abbott Laboratories — Wikipedia

Largest pharma companies by market cap

Our Heritage

Wallace Calvin Abbott | Abbott Laboratories | American Physician |

Abbott Laboratories’ Revenue Breakdown (2016–2021)


PDF with headlines — Google Drive

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a.) the coolest thing you learned this week related to business, economics, finance.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.