Abbott Labs and Diabetes Care
Abbott Diabetes Care is a subsidiary of Abbott Labs, a highly-diversified U.S.-based firm dedicated to a wide range of healthcare products. More than half of Abbott’s sales are in the international market. Abbott Labs has its fingers in more aspects of nutrition and healthcare than almost any other international healthcare firm.
Abbott Diabetes Care offers a wide range of products, from basic blood glucose monitors, to software packages, to professional Point-of-Care systems. This is a company that really does have something for everyone.
Abbott Diabetes Care Brands
Abbott’s glucose monitors are sold under the brands “FreeStyle” and “Precision Xtra.” The Abbott diabetes data management systems are sold as “CoPilot” and “Precision Link” brands, and designed to work with FreeStyle and Precision Xtra glucose blood monitors. Abbott even produces insulin pumps and is building a market in new technologies like the CoZMonitor, a combo insulin pump and blood glucose monitoring system.
Abbott’s best and latest blood glucose monitors are:
- FreeStyle Lite: This small, lightweight FreeStyle lets you take your monitoring on the go with no coding, alternate site testing, and (according Abbott’s claims), the “world’s smallest blood sample size requirement.” It works only with FreeStyle Lite test strips.
- FreeStyle Freedom Lite: The Freestyle Freedom Lite gives you the portability and code-free testing of the FreeStyle Lite with bigger buttons and a slightly larger display for easy use. It, too, works only with FreeStyle Lite test strips.
- Precision Xtra: This combination blood glucose monitor and ketone testing meter. This monitor is specifically designed to be intuitive and to take the guesswork out of monitoring. Insert the strip and the meter comes on automatically and walks you through the test.
The company also offers the OmniPod insulin pump, the “world’s first” insulin pump without plastic tubing.
Can You Trust Abbott Labs?
Abbott labs has its fingers in so many biotech industries that it can be hard to keep up with all the strands in the web. It’s easy to trust a big name, especially when their products are easy to find both in local shops like Walgreens and at online retailers.
There are a few indications that Abbott Diabetes Care products may suffer from a little neglect in that huge web of Abbott products. For example, in 2010, Abbott recalled almost 400 lots of test strips in the U.S. and Puerto Rico for giving repeatedly low readings. In June 2011, a load of diabetes care products was stolen (tractor-trailer and all) inKentucky.
Also in 2011, Abbott reported a “supply interruption” with products for the FreeStyle Navigator, an innovative continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. The interruption resulted in a choice by Abbott Diabetes Care to pull the Navigator from theU.S. market entirely, though it’s still operational in several countries overseas.
Such issues, perhaps, are unavoidable in a corporation as large as Abbott, but they can leave customers feeling uncertain about whether to place their trust – and their health – in the hands of that company.
Abbott Diabetes Care: Takeaways
Abbott Labs is an internationally-known corporation, and their stock values have continued to rise even in a difficult market. Still, with the subsidiary Abbott Diabetes Care, there have been multiple indications in the past several years that quality control and safety may be falling through the cracks in such a large multi-national environment.
Make your decision carefully – your health will depend on the products you use to monitor your blood testing. Abbott may have one of the biggest names on the market, but they may not be your best bet in the long run.
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