Public policy has the potential to enable the development of the next generation of medical advances and unlock the power of health. Abbott’s role in these discussions is to work to ensure that policy positively impacts the people who rely on our work, our employees and our ability to continue to develop new products. At the federal and state levels, we engage with governments, think tanks, trade associations, patient groups and other organizations to find policy solutions to the complex issues that challenge our healthcare system. It is our responsibility to help legislators and regulators understand Abbott’s viewpoints on major healthcare issues. Abbott’s public policy engagement is guided by the following principles:
Our Federal Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. is responsible for advocacy activities with the U.S. Congress and the federal government. Advocacy at the U.S. state level is managed by our State Government Affairs function. Abbott also hires outside firms that can provide expertise on our key policy issues. Abbott does not currently make direct expenditures towards U.S. federal or state grassroots lobbying communications to the general public.
In the United States, in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Abbott files a quarterly report that includes: 1) total federal lobbying expenditures, 2) the name of the specific piece of legislation or subject that was the topic of communication, 3) disclosure of Abbott individuals who lobbied on behalf of Abbott and 4) identification of the legislative body or executive branch that was contacted. This report incorporates expenses associated with lobbying the federal government, including our Federal Government Affairs office and the portion of trade association dues associated with federal lobbying. The report can be found on the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records website or the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Clerk website. The Public Policy Committee of the Abbott Board of Directors reviews an annual report of our advocacy priorities.
Abbott participates in the political process by contributing to U.S. state and local candidates and political organizations. We support candidates and organizations that understand how government actions can affect access to medical advances, and that will work to promote an environment that fosters continued medical progress. We have not made direct independent expenditures on behalf of candidates running for public office and do not have plans to make independent expenditures. If such expenditures are made, they will be included in our semi-annual report.
Contributions to office holders and candidates are bipartisan, made without regard for the private political preferences of our officers and executives, and based on several criteria: 1) policy positions that reflect Abbott's interests, 2) representation of geographic areas where Abbott employees and facilities are located, 3) relevant legislative committee assignments, 4) ability to be elected and 5) need for financial assistance. Abbott's Government Affairs function, under the direction of the Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, reviews and approves all corporate political contributions to ensure these contributions are consistent with the company's guidelines and in accordance with applicable laws. The Public Policy Committee of the Abbott Board of Directors annually reviews the company's U.S. political contributions policy.
Download the 2017 Corporate Political Contributions Report for January - June here. Please see below to download previous years’ reports of Abbott's corporate contributions to political candidates, political parties, political committees, ballot measure committees and organizations operating under 26 USC Sec. 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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