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Reference no. UVA-E-0311
Published by:
Darden Business Publishing (2008)
10 pages
Data source:
Field research


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.


Ethics; Ethical issues; Stakeholder management; Corporate social responsibility; Health care; Non-profit initiatives; Leadership; Innovation; Diversity

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