About Alere San Diego, Inc.

Alere manufactures professional and consumer diagnostic health tests. Its professional diagnostic products include tests for cancers, cardiovascular disease, drugs of abuse, infectious diseases, and women's health, including pregnancy tests and fertility monitors. Alere also makes consumer diagnostics, including First Check drug tests, through a venture with Procter & Gamble. Branded products include Cholestech (lipid and cholesterol testing), Determine (HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and syphilis detection), Toxicology (drug and alcohol testing), and Nycocard (diabetes diagnosis and management). Abbott Laboratories acquired Alere for $5.3 billion in October 2017.

Change in Company Type

In early 2016 Alere agreed to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories. Through the deal, which was completed in October 2017, Abbott has become the leader in the point-of-care diagnostics market. Alere's offerings complement Abbott's, and provide the latter with entry to new customer channels. To obtain antitrust approvals for the acquisition, Alere sold certain assets including its Triage MeterPro cardiovascular and toxicology holdings and its B-type Naturietic Peptide assay line.


Alere is organized into three segments: Professional Diagnostics, Consumer Diagnostics, and Corporate and Other. The Professional Diagnostics segment accounts for the lion's share of earnings and includes tests that are conducted in hospitals, labs, and medical offices, as well as at home under a medical professional's supervision. The much-smaller Consumer Diagnostics business, which distributes tests to consumers through retail drug and grocery retailers, are handled through a 50/50 joint venture with Proctor & Gamble (P&G). Operating under the name SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, the venture handles the marketing of such brands as Clearblue Easy, EPT, Fact Plus, and Accu-Clear.

Geographic Reach

The US accounts for more than half of Alere's sales. The company maintains its primary manufacturing sites in Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Norway, Scotland, South Korea, and the UK. It has secondary manufacturing facilities in parts of the US, India, Israel, and the UK. Alere conducts its main research and development in Germany, the UK, and the US.

The company maintains more than 30 distribution operations in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.

Sales and Marketing

Alere's professional products are sold through the company's sales force, as well as through distribution networks, to hospitals, laboratories, and physicians' offices. Its First Check consumer drug testing products are sold throughout the US in drugstores, grocery stores, and by mass merchants, as well as drug wholesalers.

The company markets its health management services primarily to government and commercial health plans.

In 2016, Alere spent $5.6 million on advertising, versus $9 million in 2015 and $8 million in 2014.

Financial Performance

Note: Alere restated its revenues for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Alere's revenue, which has been on the decline for the past three years, fell 4% to $2.4 billion in 2016 as both product and services revenues dropped. Both professional and consumer product sales dropped; the 2015 disposition of Alere's BBI business, changes in Medicare reimbursement rates, lower toxicology sales, and unfavorable currency exchange rates were leading factors in the revenue decline. Geographically, US and Europe sales declined that year.

Net income plummeted to a loss of $137.6 million in 2016, versus income of $206.5 million in 2015. Higher general and administrative expenses primarily drove the net loss that year. Cash flow from operations, which has been on a steady decline, fell 14% to $179.3 million in 2016; positive changes in assets and liabilities offset most of the loss from continuing operations.


In the past, Alere grew significantly through what can only be described as an acquisition rampage. Since 2003 the company has bought up consumer and professional-grade diagnostic product lines and entire companies to establish its dominance in the diagnostics market. Acquisitions brought in diagnostics for home use, point-of-care tests, drug and parasite screening products, and cholesterol and cancer diagnostics among others.

However, in a turnaround from its previous efforts to diversify operations, Alere has been divesting non-core operations in order to concentrate on diagnostics, particularly in the areas of cardiometabolic disease, infectious disease, and toxicology. It has also used funds from sales to repay debt (its long-term debt stands at around $2.9 billion.) In 2015 the company sold its Alere Health operations (case management, condition management) to UnitedHealth Group's Optum division in a $600 million transaction. Also that year, it sold its BBI business (which it had previously planned to spin off in an IPO) to Exponent Private Equity for $164 million. In 2017 it agreed to sell Epocal, which develops point-of-care blood diagnostic systems, to Siemens Healthineers for an undisclosed amount. Other recently divested operations include health information exchange system ACS, vet business unit Bionote, and the firm's 40% stake in diagnostic test maker Vedalab.

Alere has continued to launch new products as it narrows its focus. In 2017 it introduced the iCup RX drug screen, a rapid urine test for the abuse of prescription drugs including opiods.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2015 Alere acquired US Diagnostics for $60 million. That purchase added drug testing devices to Alere's coffers; those operations are now part of the firm's Professional Diagnostics segment.

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Alere San Diego, Inc.

9975 Summers Ridge Rd
San Diego, CA 92121-2997
Phone: 1 (858) 455-4808


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Senior Vice President: Michael Connor
  • Vice President: Jackie Fleming
  • Vice President: Mary Morrison
  • Employees: 1,003

Major Office Locations

  • San Diego, CA