Saturday, August 31, 2013

Europe's drug bills piling up for Chicago pharmas

While many Chicago-area CEOs are grappling with slow sales in Europe, the downturn has caught AbbVie Inc.'s Richard Gonzalez holding a bag of accounts receivable worth nearly $800 million from cash-strapped governments.
Companies including McDonald's Corp. and United Continental Holdings Inc. have seen European revenues tumble during the recession, the longest since World War II. But Abbott Laboratories, its AbbVie spinoff, Baxter International Inc. and Hospira Inc. also are contending with a mounting pile of unpaid bills for drugs they've already sold.

The big four local pharmaceutical firms are owed a total of $1.76 billion from Europe's four most desperate economies—Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain—as of June 30, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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