Abbott CEO Says 'We're Sorry About The Baby Formula Shortage,' Ensures Significant Investment For Future

Abbott Laboratories ABT Chief Executive Robert Ford apologized Saturday for his company's role in the nationwide shortage of baby formula and promised production would ramp up again in June. 

"We're sorry to every family we've let down," Mr. Ford wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "We are making significant investments to ensure this never happens again," he wrote. 

In February, Abbott voluntarily recalled some of its Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare formulas manufactured in its Sturgis, Michigan plant after the FDA officials found a potentially deadly bacteria there. 

That decision exacerbated an existing baby formula shortage created by supply-chain issues during the pandemic, Mr. Ford acknowledged.

Related: Danone Scales Up Baby Formula Shipments To US To Combat Shortage

Four infants who drank tainted baby formula were hospitalized, and two of them died. However, the FDA said the bacteria didn't match the strains found at the Abbott plant. Mr. Ford wrote that issuing a voluntary recall was the right thing to do. 

Ford said the company plans to restart its Sturgis facility in early June after entering into a consent decree with the FDA. It will take six to eight weeks from when production begins to get products on the shelves. 

"When we are operating our Michigan facility at full capacity, we will more than double our current production of powdered infant formula for the United States. We will be supplying more formula to Americans than we were in January before the recall by the end of June," Ford added.

Price Action: ABT shares closed at $113.24 on Monday.

Photo via Company

Posted In: Large CapNewsHealth CareGeneral