J. Michael Pearson, CEO of Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, was hospitalized during Christmas as he was under treatment for "severe" pneumonia. Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little confirmed that Pearson was hospitalized on Friday. Little added, "We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to him returning to work when he is feeling better."
Citing privacy concerns, Little didn't reply to questions regarding current condition of Pearson. In an email reply to Reuters, Little informed that the company will release further information on Pearson's condition at appropriate time. The report about his hospitalization was first published by the New York Times.
Before joining Valeant, Pearson, 56, has spent 23 years at McKinsey & Company. He joined McKinsey & Company in September 2010.
Recently battered by scandals and questions related to its price tactics and sales, the drug maker hit the headlines for days. In the past week, Pearson asked the investors not to be concerned regarding the issued leading to the scandal and urged them to focus on the products which are expected to grow beyond the present expectations
The recent scandals had a severe effect on the stock of the drug making company sending it down by fifty seven percent compared to its peak in August. Under Pearson’s leadership, the company has come under U.S. government scrutiny for acquiring off-patent drugs and drastically hiking the prices.
Pearson had promised to provide more transparent data to its share holders regarding the business of Valeant which also includes sales figures for thirty of its leading drugs. Valeant has said it plans to rebuild lost business in 2016 through a new distribution agreement with Walgreen’s pharmacies. Still, Valeant’s price hikes are the subject of investigations by the U.S. Congress and federal prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts.
However, rather than being apologetic, his tone was bold and defiant while discussing the business strategies of the company that invited scrutiny from federal agencies and investors. The issues that drew attention were use of the company's mail-order pharmacies, raise in prices and acquisitions to boost growth.
Since August this year, Valeant Pharmaceuticals stock has declined over 55 percent. The drop in stock price caused erosion of investor wealth and a major impact on noticed on some of the best managed hedge funds.