Abbott Labs Freezes Salaries

January 14, 2003 ( - Abbott Laboratories Inc has announced 34,000 workers salaries will be frozen, allowing the company to focus on the launch of its new rheumatoid arthritis drug, according to a Reuters report.

The North Chicago-based drug maker said due to the early federal regulatory approval of the arthritis drug, Humira, the company would hold salaries at the current level.   This move will be in conjunction with other budget cuts to be unveiled during corporate quarterly earning reports on January 16.

“Because of the earlier-than-expected launch of Humira coupled with a slowing global economy, Abbott took several actions, including delaying annual merit increases for employees by six months,” said Abbott spokesman Chris Bona.  

Previously, Abbott stated the high cost of launching the new pharmaceutical might cut its outlook for 2003 profit. Wall Street analysts had not expected approval of the drug until mid-2003.