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Abbott Labs Salesman Commits Suicide, Cites Company Pressure To Hit Sales Targets

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A 27-year-old salesman for Abbott Laboratories' (NYSE: ABT) Indian operations tragically killed himself over the weekend due to what he claimed was too much pressure to achieve unrealistically high sales targets.

According to The New York Times, Ashish Awasthi was one of the company's top performing salespersons in the company. His death prompted more than 250 of his peers at Abbott to walk off the job for a day in a protest of the company's overly aggressive sales policies.

The New York Times noted its six-month long investigation found Abbott managers instructed its employees to pursue sales at "virtually any cost — in violation of Indian law, professional medical standards and the company's own ethics guidelines."

The publication also found that managers told the sales team to hold "health camps" where representatives would perform tests on patients for various ailments and then sell the relevant drugs to the patient's doctors. Doing so could constitute a criminal offense since it is in essence practicing medicine without a medical license.

The company told The New York Times this practice was "aligned with applicable laws" in the country as they were classified as "disease awareness education programs."

 

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