Abbott Laboratories yesterday said its US deal with Boehringer Ingelheim to distribute three of the German company’s drugs – the arthritis treatment Mobic (meloxicam), Flomax (tamsulosin) for enlarged prostate and the blood pressure agent Micardis (telmisartan) – has been terminated, allowing it to boost gross margins.

Abbott’s early exit from the deal will raise gross margins 5% from the beginning of January, when it ends distribution of Mobic and Flomax, although supply of Micardis continues through to the end of March. Although the US firm will no longer record sales for the products, it will continue to earn its cents from BI’s sales and says that the pretax income it expects to earn between 2006 and 2008 under the amended agreement remains unchanged.

Abbott and BI entered into a distribution and co-promotion deal in 1999, but the two firms have agreed to amend the agreement with Abbott as distributor, effective January 1, 2006.