Valeant interim CEO vows to regain investor trust by delivering growth

MONTREAL -- The interim CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals says a long-term partnership with U.S. drug store chain Walgreens is among initiatives that will help restore faith in the embattled drugmaker.

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Howard Schiller told a J.P. Morgan health-care conference in San Francisco that the Quebec-based company is committed to delivering strong results and steady growth.

"We are going to regain your trust and confidence and soon we'll be talking about the fundamentals of this business instead of some of the other challenges we've had recently," he said during a webcast of the conference.

Schiller, the company's former chief financial officer, was appointed last week as interim CEO while Michael Pearson is on medical leave recovering from acute pneumonia.

Schiller said the company will roll out a 20-year partnership with Walgreens on Friday that aims to reduce drug prices and cut health-care system costs.

A deal was reached with Walgreens late last year after Valeant (TSX:VRX) severed its previously undisclosed relationship with Philidor Rx Services, a U.S. mail-order pharmacy.

The Walgreens program will launched with dermatology drugs, followed soon after with ophthalmology products and the female libido drug Addyi. A program to offer about 30 branded drugs at generic prices will be added mid-year.

Valeant also hopes to add independent U.S. retailers to the program and is exploring similar options in other countries.

Valeant and other drug makers came in for severe criticism in the U.S. and face congressional investigations over steep price increases on prescription drugs that had been on the market for years.

Since then, the company's stock has been slashed more than in half from record highs in August.


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