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. In 2020, Abbott reported $3,960,000 in U.S. federal lobbying. Abbott's latest Federal lobbying disclosure filings 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) a philosophy that reflects Abbott's commitment to supporting access to medical innovation and improving lives through good health, 2) key legislative committee and/or leadership assignments, 3) represents an Abbott facility or a significant number of Abbott employees, 4) electability and need for financial support.
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 and a report of the company's U.S. political contributions.
Download the 2020 Corporate Political Contributions Report for January–December 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.
Abbott is a member of U.S. trade organizations that engage in lobbying and other political activity to champion and protect the interests of Abbott, our industry and, most importantly, the people who rely on our products to achieve good health. Collaboration and cooperation with a wide array of people and organizations are critical to meet the needs of patients today. We strive to align with organizations whose overall advocacy platform demonstrates values that mirror our own. An organization’s membership and robust governance process collectively drives the development of individual positions. We pride ourselves on taking an active role in our trade associations, expressing our opinions and making the case for the position we believe will produce the most appropriate policy outcomes. We work to have a strong voice at the table, even if ultimately we may not be able to control the outcome.
The Public Policy Committee of the Abbott Board of Directors reviews an annual report of our major trade association memberships, the amount of dues and the amount used for lobbying.
Below is a list of U.S. trade associations to which Abbott paid dues of $50,000 or more in 2020, and which lobby in the U.S. at the federal level. Also provided for each trade association is the percentage of the 2020 dues they collect from member companies utilized by that organization for federal lobbying.
To download previous years' trade association membership reports, please see below.
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