What is AbbVie Inc and What Drugs Do They Manufacture?
AbbVie is a biopharmaceutical company who manufacturers medications that are sold globally. Our article will discuss AbbVie, its history, products, and legal troubles.
What Is AbbVie Inc?
AbbVie, Inc. is a relatively new spinoff company from Abbott Laboratories that manufactures and markets a number of different medications, including the narcotic pain medication Vicodin. It markets more than 30 different products and is preparing to release a number of other products on the market.
What Is AbbVie Known For?
AbbVie is best known for manufacturing Humira — a medication used to treat moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. AbbVie products include a wide range of drugs. Some of the more well-known AbbVie drugs are:
- Celexa — a treatment for depression.
- Lexapro — a treatment for depression and anxiety.
- Loestrin — a low-dose birth control pill.
- Norco — a hydrocodone and acetaminophen medication used to treat moderate pain.
Brief History of AbbVie
According to its website, in 2011, Abbott Laboratories announced it would separate into two different publicly traded companies. Abbott Laboratories would specialize in diagnostic equipment, medical devices, and other products, and AbbVie, Inc. would be the research-based pharmaceutical company. The separation took place in 2013. Now, AbbVie’s revenue is in the billions.
Abbott Laboratories was founded in 1888 by Dr. Wallace C Abbott. By 1910, Abbott Laboratories was marketing over 700 products and had begun to market them in Canada, Great Britain, and India. In the 1960s, Abbott Laboratories extended its international marketing strategies even further by becoming involved in the Japanese market.
AbbVie Medications and Products
AbbVie produces and manufactures a number of drugs. What drugs does AbbVie make? The full list of products can be found on their web site, but some include:
- AndroGel (testosterone) is listed by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule III controlled substance. It is a daily testosterone replacement therapy to normalize testosterone levels in individuals (particularly adult males) who may have low testosterone levels due to a number of medical conditions. The website states that it should not be used by men who have low testosterone levels associated with normal aging.
- Biaxin (clarithromycin) is an antibiotic that has a number of uses, including the treatment of certain types of duodenal ulcers caused by infections.
- Creon (pancrelipase) is a prescription digestive aid that is prescribed for individuals who do not digest food normally due to issues with the pancreas, such as pancreatitis, surgical procedures that removed some or all of the pancreas, and cystic fibrosis.
- Depacon and Depakene (valproic acid) are primarily used as anticonvulsant medications.
- Depakote and Depakote ER (divalproex sodium) and Tridion (trimethadione) are used as anticonvulsant medications.
- Duopa (carbidopa/levodopa) is used to treat Parkinson’s disease by increasing the availability of dopamine.
- Empliciti (elotuzumab) is used with other medications to treat multiple myeloma, which is often referred to as bone marrow cancer.
- Gengraf (cyclosporine) is an immunosuppressant medication that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, and it may be used to avoid organ rejection in transplant victims.
- K?Tab (potassium chloride) is a mineral and electrolyte replacement substance.
- Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Norvir (ritonavir) are antiviral medications that can be used in conjunction with other medications to slow down the progression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Lupaneta Pack, Lupron, Lupron Depot, and Lupron Depot PED (leuprolide/norethindrone) represent a number of hormonal substances used to treat endometriosis or prostate cancer.
- Marinol (dronabinol) is used to treat nausea, most often in cancer patients who experience nausea and vomiting as a result of treatment, but it can be used for any nausea.
- Mavik (trandolapril); Tarka (trandolapril/verapamil); and Teveten (eprosartan) are antihypertensive medications for high blood pressure, and they also have other uses.
- Mivacron (mivacurium) and Nimbex (cisatracurium) are skeletal muscle relaxants used the treatment of muscle spasms, rigidity, etc.
- Moderiba (ribaviran); Technivie (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir); and Viekira, Viekira XR (dasabuvir/ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) are medications that can be used in the treatment of hepatitis C.
- Oretic (hydrochlorothiazide) is a diuretic that can be used to treat fluid retention and hypertension.
- Prometrium (progesterone) is a hormone often used to assist women undergoing menopause.
- Survanta (beractant) is a mixture of extracts from the lungs of young cows and chemicals from other sources that is most often used to treat pulmonary issues in premature babies.
- Synthroid (levothyroxine) is a thyroid drug that is typically used to treat hypothyroidism.
- TriCor (fenofibrate) and Trilipix (fenofibric acid) are used to lower cholesterol levels.
- Ultane (sevoflurane) is an anesthetic primarily used for surgical patients.
- Venclexta (venetoclax) is used in the treatment of lymphocytic leukemia.
- Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone) is a Schedule II controlled substance. It is a narcotic pain medication used to control severe, chronic or acute pain. It is also a significant drug of abuse.
- Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) is also a Schedule II controlled narcotic pain medication.
- Zinbryta (daclizumab) is used to treat individuals with relapsing multiple sclerosis.
Legal Issues Facing AbbVie
As can be seen by the partial list of medications manufactured and marketed by AbbVie, the company has a very diversified product line. As might be expected, the company has been involved in a number of legal issues associated with their products. Surprisingly, one of the products that has resulted in one of the potential biggest headaches for AbbVie is its testosterone replacement product.
AndroGel is a topical testosterone replacement product that is designed to treat individuals who have low testosterone levels due to a medical condition or surgery, but it is not designed to address the natural reduction of testosterone as individuals get older. The drug can increase the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer, and stroke, and it can result in issues with the kidneys and liver. Individuals who take the drug can also transfer it to other individuals simply by touching them. This can leave vulnerable individuals like children open to some of the side effects of the drug, such as early signs of puberty, breast development in boys, etc.
AbbVie’s parent company, Abbott Laboratories, also has some history of questionable marketing practices and potential issues with some of their products. Before the creation of AbbVie, Abbot Laboratories had to pay fines due to illegal marketing practices regarding its drug Depakote. There was also a recall of blood glucose meters and issues with some of the equipment, such as contaminated IV bags, marketed by the company.
A number of lawsuits are pending regarding Vicodin overdoses, the effects of Vicodin that occur in pregnant women, etc. In 2013, AbbVie filed a lawsuit against a celebrity boutique for producing designer apparel with the Vicodin label on it, stating that the apparel makes it appear that “popping Vicodin” is fashionable.