MONTREAL – The CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals says he will listen more to patients and critics as the company, Canada’s largest drugmaker, tries to withstand intense political scrutiny over allegations of price gouging.
Michael Pearson told analysts on a conference call today that the circumstances that have caused its share price to collapse have made for a painful personal learning experience.
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The Quebec-based company is expecting to take a short-term financial hit from the controversy over drug pricing as well as the severing of ties with Philidor Rx Services, a U.S. mail-order pharmacy.
Valeant said it is working over the next 90 days to replace Philidor with new specialty pharmaceutical partners it would contract work out to instead of owning an option to purchase companies, as it did in the case of Philidor.
Valeant said it is cutting its links with Philidor as of the new year over allegations of questionable business practices even though Philidor has assured there has been no wrongdoing.
Pearson said he is unaware of any other issues within his company, but he added it’s impossible to provide a complete assurance given Valeant’s large size and geographic reach.
Valeant’s shares have plunged as a result of scrutiny about its business practices, including big price hikes for some of its products and its relationship with certain specialty pharmaceutical companies. Since August, its stock has fallen about 70 per cent.
The U.S. Senate has launched an investigation into drug pricing, which includes Valeant, and the company has also received multiple subpoenas from federal prosecutors.
Still, Pearson told analysts that while Valeant’s dermatology and neurology revenues will be hurt in the fourth quarter, its overall business is unaffected and the company’s longer term outlook is bright.