People, Passion, and Possibilities: AbbVie’s Vision of Patient-Centric Healthcare

By acquiring Allergan during the pandemic last year, AbbVie became the world’s fourth largest pharmaceutical company.

Last May, research-based global biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie finalized a transformative acquisition of Allergan, an Ireland-headquartered healthcare solutions provider. The transaction made AbbVie, a relatively young spinoff of the long-established Abbott Laboratories, the fifth largest biopharmaceutical company in the world. It further diversified the company’s robust product portfolio, expanded and strengthened its already robust R&D pipeline, and allowed AbbVie to offer innovative treatments to an even larger patient population that spans over 175 countries.

This spring, as AbbVie celebrates the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, the company’s leaders are reflecting on its achievements over the past year and setting bold, forward-looking goals for the future.

AbbVie Taiwan General Manager Velayutham Ramanathan notes that the main impetus behind the acquisition was to incorporate Allergan’s specialization in the areas of medical aesthetics, eye care, and neuroscience into the AbbVie product line. In addition to the newly added specialty fields, key therapeutic areas of AbbVie’s global portfolio include immunology, oncology, virology, gastroenterology, and women’s health, among others.

“This transaction enhances our ability to continue to deliver on our mission to make a remarkable impact on more people’s lives,” says Ramanathan. “We now offer over 30 brands in more than 10 therapeutic areas, covering more than 60 conditions globally, and will continue to expand and diversify our product portfolio to do more for the communities we serve.”

AbbVie has chosen a unique path for integrating Allergan into its existing organizational structure. Rather than completely absorb it while assuming all of its products, know-how, and employees, AbbVie will maintain the Allergan brand name where it holds a distinct value for clients and patients with Allergan Aesthetics operating as a global dedicated business.

Sean Lin, general manager of Allergan Aesthetics Taiwan, says that this has provided the focus, independence and resources to seize significant growth opportunities in country and around the world including strengthening its pipeline.  “In just six months, Allergan Aesthetics announced the acquisition of Luminera, enhancing our dermal filler portfolio,” he added.

Allergan Aesthetics has also been able to continue providing important services to its broad client base, Lin says. Describing the company’s approach to its healthcare professional customers called “Your Practice. Our Purpose,” he elaborated how this embodies the commitment to being responsive, providing thoughtful solutions and maintaining trust. Citing how medical education continued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lin shared how virtual support was provided to customers, recognizing the challenges they faced due to significantly reduced patient inflow.

Both Lin and Ramanathan say that the integration process between AbbVie and Allergan has been very smooth not only because of the synergy between the R&D capabilities and resources of the two merging companies, but also because of the similarities in their principles and values.

AbbVie is known for providing a transparent and energetic working environment at the company. Ramanathan notes that such an environment creates a strong value proposition for current and prospective employees as it allows them to collaborate and grow together with the company. This in turn empowers them to continue pushing forward innovative solutions for patients to live better lives. “We constantly invest in our people. Our Talent Philosophy features initiatives to help enhance our employees’ knowledge and experiences so that they can grow their career and contribute at their highest level. This philosophy guides the way we manage, develop, and lead high-performance teams and an accelerated growth mindset.”

The integration has also expanded professional opportunities for the team as Lin and Ramanathan continue to work collaboratively to ensure business continuity and employee satisfaction.

The two leaders are now striving to carry out, in Taiwan, AbbVie’s vision of being a trusted partner to its stakeholders and consistently delivering innovative, patient-centric healthcare solutions to fulfill unmet clinical needs. To do this, says Ramanathan, AbbVie will continue its expansion efforts while sustaining its focus on innovative science and the advancement of its robust pipeline well into the future.

“We are a new organization in the biopharmaceutical field, but since our founding in 2013, we have constantly been growing,” Ramanathan says. “We are moving toward market leadership in all of the therapeutic areas included in our product portfolio. And we commit to make remarkable impacts on patients as we move forward.”