Hospira, Inc.
Type Public (NYSEHSP)
Founded Lake Forest, Illinois (May 3, 2004)
Headquarters Lake Forest, Illinois, United States
Key people F. Michael (Mike) Ball, CEO; Christopher B. Begley, Executive Chairman
Products Generic acute-care and oncology injectables, integrated infusion therapy, medication management systems
Revenue $3.9 billion (2010)
Website www.hospira.com

Hospira, Inc. (NYSEHSP) is a U.S.-based global pharmaceutical and medical device company with headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois. It has approximately 14,000 employees.[1] Hospira is the world's largest producer of generic injectable pharmaceuticals,[2] manufacturing generic acute-care and oncology injectables, as well as integrated infusion therapy and medication management systems. Hospira's products are used by hospitals and alternate site providers, such as clinics, home healthcare providers and long-term care facilities.[3]

Worldwide sales in 2010 were approximately $3.9 billion.[4]



Hospira corporate headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois

In 2003, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) said that it decided to spin off Hospira as a separate company so that the new company could focus on products to be primarily used in a hospital setting [5] and to allow Abbott to focus on core areas of strength.

Hospira's name was picked by employee vote. The name is derived from the words hospital, spirit, inspire and the Latin word "spero," which means "hope." [3] Hospira became an independent company on Monday, May 3, 2004, with 14,000 employees, 14 manufacturing sites and an estimated $2.5 billion in annual sales. [6]

In 2007, Hospira purchased Mayne Pharma Ltd., an Australian-based specialty injectable pharmaceuticals company, for $2.1 billion. The deal expanded Hospira's international reach and its presence in the oncology market.[7]

More recent acquisitions by Hospira include the generic injectable pharmaceuticals business of Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a leading Indian pharmaceuticals company, for approximately $400 million, announced in late 2009 and completed in 2010;[8] Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of post-operative pain management drug Dyloject, for approximately $145 million, in 2010;[9] and TheraDoc, a clinical informatics company that develops hospital surveillance systems, in 2009.[10]

In 2011, Hospira's board chose Mike Ball, formerly president of Allergan, as Hospira's new CEO. Ball replaced founding CEO Chris Begley, who in 2010 had announced his plans to retire from the CEO position and remain at Hospira as executive chairman. Ball joined the company in March 2011.[11]


Some of the key products produced by Hospira:


Medical Devices

  • EndoTool
  • GemStar SP
  • Hospira MedNet software
  • LifeCare PCA
  • LifeShield
  • Plum A+
  • Symbiq
  • TheraDoc

Drug Delivery Systems

  • ADD-Vantage System
  • Carpuject Syringe System
  • iSecure Syringes

Product Descriptions

  • Biosimilars: Hospira received marketing approval from the European Commission in December 2007 for its biosimilar drug, Retacrit. Retacrit is an erythropoietin, or EPO, for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure and chemotherapy. The European Union has developed a regulatory pathway to approve biosimilars in Europe, but a comparable U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance system does not yet exist.[12] Hospira launched Retacrit in Europe in early 2008[13] and today sells the product in all major European markets. In 2010, Hospira received approval and launched in Europe its second biosimilar, Nivestim, a generic filgrastim for the prevention of febrile neutropenia.[14] Hospira also received approval for Nivestim in Australia in 2010,[15] and launched the product in Australia in 2011. To date, Hospira is the only United States-based company selling biosimilars in Europe.[13] Hospira announced in 2010 the start of a U.S. trial for biosimilar EPO.[16]
  • Hospira MedNet: Hospira MedNet is a customizable system that helps hospitals define medication dose limits and track intravenous drug deliveries to help prevent errors.[17]
  • Precedex: Precedex (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride) is Hospira's proprietary I.V. sedative, and is a relatively selective alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist. In the United States, it is approved for continuous I.V. sedation of initially intubated and mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care setting for use up to 24 hours. Precedex has shown promise as a sedative agent for ICU patients and may decrease the occurrence of a combined end point of delirium and coma.[18] In 2010, Hospira received approval in Japan for long-term use (greater than 24 hours) of Precedex.[19]
  • Symbiq: Symbiq is an infusion system that administers intravenous (I.V.) medications, fluids and solutions to patients. It is designed to reduce the risk of infusion-related medical errors.[20]
  • VisIV: VisIV is an intravenous (I.V.) solution bag free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials that can damage the environment and of the so-called plastic "overwrap" that covers the IV bag during shipping to prevent moisture evaporation and keep the medication concentrated.[21]

Sodium thiopental production

Sodium thiopental is an anesthetic discovered by Hospira's parent company, Abbott Laboratories[22] and manufactured by Hospira after it was spun off. The WHO considers it an essential drug. However, it is also used as part of the lethal injection protocol in many US states.[23] Though Hospira has supplied these states with the drug, it has said, "we do not support the use of any of our products in capital punishment procedures."[24]

On January 21, 2011, the company announced that it would stop producing sodium thiopental, citing a new Italian law requiring exports of the drug not be used for capital punishment;[25] the company's manufacturing facility for sodium thiopental is located in Liscate, Italy.[26]

Legislation and Litigation

Oxaliplatin: In August 2009, Hospira introduced a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis SA's (SNY) colon-cancer drug known generically as oxaliplatin and by the brand name Eloxatin, in the United States. In April 2010, Hospira announced a legal settlement with Sanofi-Aventis. Under the settlement terms, Hospira agreed to stop selling oxaliplatin injection in the United States by June 30, 2010, and can relaunch the product in the United States on Aug. 9, 2012.[27]

Biosimilars: In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that would allow the marketing of biosimilar drugs in the United States. The legislation would allow 12 years of data exclusivity for brand-name biologics. Some consumer groups, like AARP, oppose this provision, saying it would cause lack of access to the promise of such drugs.[28]


Hospira's competitors in specialty injectable pharmaceuticals include Fresenius AG, Baxter International Inc., Bedford Laboratories, Mylan, Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals as well as divisions of several multinational pharmaceutical companies. Its competitors in medication management systems include Baxter, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Carefusion and Fresenius Medical Care AG.[29]


  1. ^ "Hospira - Investor Relations - Shareholder FAQ". http://www.hospirainvestor.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=175550&p=irol-faq. 
  2. ^ "US-based Hospira to buy Orchid Chemicals' injectables biz for $400 mn". The Economic Times. 16, December 2009. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-12-16/news/28457975_1_hospira-generic-injectable-supply-active-pharmaceutical-ingredients. 
  3. ^ a b "About Hospira". http://www.hospira.com/AboutHospira/default.aspx. 
  4. ^ "HSP Key Statistics". Yahoo.com. http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=HSP+Key+Statistics. 
  5. ^ Higginbotham, Stacey (25 January 2004). "Abbott Labs to spin off unit". Austin Business Journal. http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2004/01/26/story3.html. 
  6. ^ . http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/04/12/abbott_labs_sets_hospira_spinoff_terms/. [dead link]
  7. ^ Sherman, Debra (28 February 2007). "Hospira quarterly earnings rise 78 percent". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2836166720070301. 
  8. ^ "US-based Hospira to Buy Orchid Chemical's Injectables Biz For $400 Mn". The Economic Times. 16 December 2009. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-12-16/news/28457975_1_hospira-generic-injectable-supply-active-pharmaceutical-ingredients/2009-12-17/news/27653053_1_hospira-injectable-orchid-chemical. 
  9. ^ "Hospira To Close $145M Javelin Deal This Week". BusinessWeek. 29 June 2010. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9GL0Q781.htm. 
  10. ^ "Hospira Acquires Theradoc, Enhances Medication Safety and Infection Management Offerings". Infection Control Today. 2 December 2009. http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2009/12/hospira-acquires-theradoc-enhances-medication-saf.aspx. 
  11. ^ "Hospira Names Allergan's Michael Ball as CEO". Daily Herald. 8 March 2011. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110308/business/110309638/. 
  12. ^ "Hospira's Biosimilar Epoetin Retacrit™ Receives Positive Opinion Recommending EU Approval". Medical News Today. 19 October 2007. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/86139.php. 
  13. ^ a b "Phase I Trial of a Biosimilar Erythropoietin". Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. 17 September 2010. http://www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/Research/Phase-I-trial-of-a-biosimilar-erythropoietin. 
  14. ^ . ThePharmaLetter. 11 June 2010. http://www.thepharmaletter.com/file/95761/hospiras-nivestim-a-new-biosimilar-filgrastim-approved-in-europe.html. 
  15. ^ . Seeking Alpha. 28 September 2010. http://seekingalpha.com/article/227373-hospira-receives-australian-approval-for-nivestim. 
  16. ^ "Hospira to Test Biosimilar Anemia Drug in U.S.". Chicago Tribune. 28 July 2010. http://archive.chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/07/hospira-to-begin-u-s-of-testing-biosimilar-anemia-drug.html. 
  17. ^ "Hospira Pushes Upgrade to Drug Tracking System". 11 May 2005. http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-4300616/Hospira-pushes-upgrade-to-drug.html. 
  18. ^ ["http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/301/5/489"]
  19. ^ "Hospira Gains New Indication for Precedex in Japan". ThePharmaLetter. 24 August 2010. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/86139.php. 
  20. ^ ["http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/195679761.html"]
  21. ^ ["http://cleantechnica.com/2009/12/04/hospira-slices-into-plastic-medical-waste-with-new-iv-bags/"]
  22. ^ Thatcher, Virginia S. (1953). "Chapter 7: Illegal or Legal?". History of Anesthesia with Emphasis on the Nurse Specialist. J.B. Lippincott. http://www.aana.com/uploadedFiles/Resources/Archives_-_Library/Historical_Resources/Thatcher/0008CHP7.PDF. 
  23. ^ Allen, Nick (27 September 2010). "US executions on hold due to lethal injection drug shortage". London: The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8028989/US-executions-on-hold-due-to-lethal-injection-drug-shortage.html. 
  24. ^ Welsh-Huggins, Andrew (27 September 2010). "Shortage of drug holds up some U.S. executions". AP. MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39385026/ns/health-health_care/. 
  25. ^ "Death Penalty Drug Production Halted". AP. New York Times. 21 January 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/21/business/AP-OH-Execution-Drug-Shortage.html. 
  26. ^ Koppel, Nathan (January 22, 2011). "Drug Halt Hinders Executions in the U.S.". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704754304576095980790129692.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEADNewsCollection. 
  27. ^ "Sanofi-Aventis Settles Additional Eloxatin Suits". MarketWatch. 6 April 2010. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sanofi-aventis-settles-additional-eloxatin-suits-2010-04-06//. 
  28. ^ ["http://www.aarp.org/community/AARPTN/journals/Helping_patients_not_prot/2296062"]
  29. ^ ["http://money.cnn.com/quote/snapshot/snapshot.html?symb=HSP"]

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