- Abbott Laboratories cut 199 jobs at its Westbrook, Maine, facility, where it manufactures its COVID-19 tests, according to a notice the company filed with the Maine Department of Labor on May 15.
- The Chicago-based firm in February cut the “vast majority” of its temporary workforce at the plant amid declining demand for the tests, according to a report by Bloomberg.
- Abbott last month lowered its forecast for annual sales of its COVID tests to $1.5 billion from $2 billion.
Demand for COVID tests has fluctuated during the course of the pandemic and Abbott has recently seen demand decline for its BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests. In the first quarter, the company reported $730 million in COVID test sales, a 78% decrease year-over-year. Abbott had $9.7 billion in the first quarter across all its operations.
The company said it was “continuing to adjust our workforce to align with market conditions,” according to the Portland Press Herald, which first reported the layoffs.
Abbott opened the Westbrook manufacturing facility in 2020 as it sought to quickly boost manufacturing of its COVID tests.
The company cut 234 jobs in Maine in February through staffing firm Aerotek, according to a state filing. It also reported 219 layoffs at the Westbrook facility in a March filing. As of December, Abbott employed about 115,000 people worldwide.
CEO Robert Ford said in the company’s earnings call on April 19 that Abbott had lowered its forecast for testing sales based on what the company was seeing at the time.
“There is very little public investment, I would say, in testing. So it's mostly now a private market,” Ford added.
Federal emergency declarations that expired this month mean that private insurers and Medicare are no longer required to cover over-the-counter COVID tests, leaving patients to pay out of their own pocket.
An Abbott spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from MedTech Dive.