In 1999, the 20-year-old AIDS crisis had ravaged many developing countries and, in particular, on the continent of Africa. Of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 1998, almost two-thirds (22 million) were in sub-Saharan Africa, considered the “global epicenter” of the disease. Already 12 million had died, and life expectancy in the region plummeted from 62 years to 47. Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories had responded at the start of the AIDS outbreak by developing the HIV diagnostic test kit and then, later in the crisis, developed some of the state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS drugs. Abbott executives, led by new CEO Miles White, wanted to address the crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, but in a specific, efficient, and effective way. This case details the evolution of the AIDS crisis, Abbott Laboratories’ HIV/AIDS drug production, and the company’s efforts?in 1999?to find other ways to battle HIV/AIDS globally.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia