Valeant CEO Pearson Says He's Recovering After Complications

  • Timing of return remains uncertain, Pearson says in memo
  • Pearson was hospitalized last month with severe pneumonia

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Pearson, who’s been on medical leave of absence since last month, said he’s on the road to recovery after suffering from complications.

In a memo to staff, Pearson said the timing of his return is uncertain, reiterating comments made by the drugmaker two weeks ago.

“I unexpectedly entered the hospital in late December to receive treatment for severe pneumonia and some unexpected complications resulted in a longer hospital stay than anticipated,” Pearson wrote.

Investors had been waiting for more details about Pearson’s condition. His leave added another challenge for a company struggling to restore its image after a series of price increases and disclosures of relationships with mail-order pharmacies drew political and legal scrutiny last year.

The shares rose 2.1 percent to $90.50 in trading before the market opened in New York. The stock has dropped 22 percent since the CEO’s hospitalization was announced Dec. 25. Howard Schiller, a board member and former financial chief, is running the company as interim CEO.

Schiller had been scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as part of a hearing on the price of pharmaceuticals. The hearing was postponed because of the snowstorm on the East Coast over the weekend.

Valeant came under scrutiny after raising the prices of two heart drugs, Nitropress and Isuprel, by 212 percent and 525 percent the day the drugmaker acquired the rights to sell them. The committee hasn’t yet announced another date for the hearing.

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