Business Monday

Abbott provides branded generics to Latin America, Caribbean

Daniel Salvadori, senior vice president of Abbott Laboratories Established Pharmaceuticals Division for Latin America, in his office in Brickell.
Daniel Salvadori, senior vice president of Abbott Laboratories Established Pharmaceuticals Division for Latin America, in his office in Brickell. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

“Latin America has always been an important region for Abbott, and we have a long history of helping people across the region live healthier, happier lives,” said Daniel Salvadori, the Miami-based senior vice president for Abbott’s Established Pharmaceuticals Division (EPD) in Latin America, which produces and sells branded generic medicines outside the United States.

“We’ve been in Colombia for more than a century, Chile for more than 90 years and Brazil for 75 years,” said the Abbott executive, whose company was founded in Chicago, Illinois, at the end of the 19th century. “After establishing our presence in those countries, we really started to expand our presence in the region in the 1930s, opening affiliates in Argentina and Mexico,” Salvadori said in response to questions emailed by the Miami Herald.

Today, Abbott Pharmaceuticals has affiliated companies, 14 manufacturing sites and five development centers throughout Latin America. There are 13,000 Abbott employees in the region.

Branded generics are the bioequivalent of the original product, but are produced and marketed under another company’s name. They can offer patients economical alternatives to expensive brands.

Abbott oversees its operations for branded generic pharmaceuticals in Latin America and the Caribbean from Miami. In 2014, when Abbott acquired CFR Pharmaceuticals, a large pharma company based in Chile, it set up its regional headquarters for EPD in Miami. Currently, Abbott has more than 100 employees in South Florida, with most working at the Miami headquarters. Miami manages business and corporate functions such as finance, business strategy, human resources and public affairs in Latin America and the Caribbean, and supports Abbott activities throughout the region.

Abbott is a global healthcare company that develops and sells branded generic medicines, medical devices and diagnostic and nutritional products in more than 150 countries. The company, based near Chicago, operates manufacturing facilities in the United States and overseas, has 74,000 employees worldwide and logged sales last year of $20.4 billion.

While the company makes a wide range of products and medical devices, some of its most familiar brands are in adult and pediatric nutrition, such as Ensure, Glucerna, Similac and Pedialyte.

“All of Abbott’s businesses are present in Latin America,” Salvadori said, “but our branded generic pharmaceuticals division is the only business with regional headquarters in Miami.”

EPD is an important element in Abbott’s overall business, and Latin America accounted for approximately one-third of the company’s worldwide EPD sales in 2015, which were $3.7 billion.

Abbott’s EPD has one of the largest pharmaceutical portfolios in Latin America, providing more than 600 molecules (pharmaceutical compounds) to healthcare providers, hospitals, pharmacies and government heath organizations.

EPD develops and sells medications for areas such as cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, women’s health, general medicine, dialysis, organ transplants, oncology and biologics. This Abbott division also provides sterile injectable and freeze-dried products for treating infections, for anesthesia, cardiology procedures and intensive care.

Some of EPD’s largest selling products are Klacid (an antibiotic), Duphaston (used to treat progesterone deficiency), Creon (for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy), Serc (for treating vertigo) and Lipanthyl (for treating diabetes).

Providing free and low-cost treatment to patients in the region is a key commitment for Abbott, and the company regularly partners with regional governments and healthcare providers under different programs. “Last year, over 500,000 patients benefited from these assistance programs in Latin America,” Salvadori said. The programs include free initial treatment, improved access to products under a special prescription plan and access to medicines treating chronic problems in cardiology, gynecology, neurology, psychiatry and rheumatology.

“Each second, more than 70 people in Latin America receive one of our products,” the Abbott executive said. “That’s something I’m really proud of.”

Salvadori, who took over the Miami job with Abbott in 2014 after the company acquired CFR Pharmaceuticals, previously was CEO for Latin America at CFR. Before that, he held management positions at Sandoz pharmaceuticals, a division of Novartis, and worked in finance and private equity.

Salvadori has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Abbott, which competes with other multinational pharma companies as well as regional firms, sees excellent opportunities for growth in Latin America, despite its economic ups and downs, currency fluctuations and changes in government policies. A rising middle class, improved access to healthcare, continued population growth, increased life spans and an aging population are key factors driving growth in pharmaceuticals, the Abbott executive said.

“Latin America is a key region for Abbott,” Salvadori said. “We have been present in the region for more than 100 years, and we are committed to being a part of the local fabric, which allows us to better understand and address local health needs.

“We have developed a strong business in the region that helps people live healthier lives through a full range of science-based healthcare products and services. Abbott will continue to look for opportunities to expand our presence — both organically and through acquisitions — in Latin America and in other key emerging markets.”

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Business: Abbott Pharmaceuticals is a global healthcare company based in the United States. With manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and overseas, it develops and sells branded generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional and diagnostic products in more than 150 countries. A key part of the company is the Established Pharmaceuticals Division (EPD), which sells branded generic medicines outside the U.S. This line includes a range of gastroenterological, women’s health, cardiovascular, metabolic, pain and respiratory products, as well as vaccines.

Abbott’s EPD headquarters for Latin America and the Caribbean is in Miami.

Founded: Dr. Wallace C. Abbott began producing “alkaloidal” medicine granules at his Chicago drugstore in 1888. The Abbott Alkaloidal Co. was established in 1894.

Corporate headquarters: Abbott Park, Illinois. Headquarters of the Established Pharmaceuticals Division (EPD) is in Basel, Switzerland.

Latin America headquarters for EPD: 701 Brickell Ave., Miami.

Latin America management: Daniel Salvadori, senior vice president for Latin America, Abbott EPD.

Employees: 74,000 worldwide, about 13,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 100 in South Florida.

Revenue: Corporate sales were $20.4 billion in 2015.

Ownership: Publicly traded (NYSE: ABT).


Source: Abbott