MONTREAL – The health condition of Valeant CEO Michael Pearson remained under wraps because the company’s interim CEO, Howard Schiller, gave his first public presentation as boss during the JPMorgan Healthcare conference in Bay area.
“(Pearson’s) family informed the board the timetable for his return was uncertain, and that’s once the board chose to name an interim CEO,” said Schiller, a former Valeant chief financial officer who took around the interim CEO position last week after Pearson contracted severe pneumonia late December.
“While it certainly wasn’t the script or the circumstances I would ever want to return to Valeant, given the way i experience Mike, the company, its prospects and also the people, it was a simple decision.”
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc shares climb after Howard Schiller named interim CEO to exchange hospitalized Michael PearsonHow Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc tripled prices, doubled sales of flatlining old drug Wellbutrin XL
Valeant shares fell 2.28 percent to close at $122.69 in Toronto. The stock is down 25 per cent since Pearson’s hospitalization. This adds another hurdle for a company struggling to regain traction following a number of price increases and disclosures of relationships with mail-order pharmacies drew scrutiny this past year that resulted in shares falling 55 per cent since last August after briefly passing RBC as Canada’s largest company by market value in June.
On Wednesday, Valeant confirmed its forecast for adjusted earnings of US$6.9 billion to US$7.1 billion in 2016.
The interim CEO said a lot of company’s money would be put aside for investor and government relations, using the objective of regaining investor confidence.
Schiller originally left Valeant in July 2015 using the hiring of the current CFO, Robert Rosiello.
“It was a remarkably tough decision but sometimes you have to make tough decisions,” Schiller told the Financial Post in May 2015 when he announced his intentions to step down when the company found a replacement. “The company’s in unbelievable shape. In a world where it’s never likely to be perfect, it felt just like a good time.”
Schiller and 2 other Valeant executives also spoke about the company’s recent distribution deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. pharmacies, that the company last month announced would take over that role from mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services.
Executive vice-president Ari Kellen said the Walgreens partnership includes two programs, one focusing on dermatology products starting on Friday, January 15, and also the other planning to sell about 30 brand-name drugs at generic prices, starting mid-2016.
Since October, Valeant continues to be accused in shortseller reports of inflating revenue and having close ties to a specialty pharmacy that used aggressive techniques to overcome insurer barriers to be able to receive reimbursement.
Valeant has denied the accusations and a board committee is investigating the Philidor situation.
The clients are also under investigation by government prosecutors in Ny and Massachusetts and it is the prospective of the congressional inquiry over concerns about its drug pricing.
The company did not offer an update on the investigation.