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article imageHillary Clinton vows to go after Valeant Pharmaceuticals

By Karen Graham     Mar 2, 2016 in Business
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. saw a drop in shares by as much as 21 percent on Monday after it revealed the Canadian company was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now it has Hillary Clinton to contend with.
When Valeant's Chief Executive Michael Pearson got back to work this past weekend after a two-month sick leave, he was hit with criticisms, accusations and doubts about his company's financial disclosures and business practices, in particular, an accusation that Valeant is practicing predatory drug pricing.
Reuters is reporting that Laurie Little, a Valeant spokeswoman, said in a statement: "Valeant confirms that it has several ongoing investigations, including investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Massachusetts and the Southern District of New York, the SEC, and Congress."
She also said the company confirmed it had "received a subpoena from the SEC in the fourth quarter of 2015 and, in the normal course, would have included this disclosure in its 2015 10-K. We do not have further detail to provide at this time."
But with the government after Valeant, which is bad enough, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has joined in the feeding frenzy, attacking Valeant in a new campaign ad on her YouTube page. The ad appears to have been filmed at a town-hall-type meeting sometime in January.
CTV News Canada reports that in the ad, Hillary is seen waving a paper around, and without mentioning the medication, saying the cost of the woman's latest refill has shot up to $14,700 for the same 10 vials.
"The company is called Valeant Pharmaceuticals. I am going after them," Clinton tells the meeting, basking in a round of applause. "This is predatory pricing and we're going to make sure it is stopped."
Valeant posted a rebuttal to the Clinton ad on its website, citing the patient did not have significant out-of-pocket expenses for the drug in question, pointing out that low-cost generics far outsell the Valeant product, with the company only making about a million dollars annually on sales of the medication, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Whenever the sales volume of a drug declines, manufacturers must consider pricing adjustments to keep production of the drug viable," Valeant said. "Patients are able to choose generic versions of the drug, however, at significantly lower prices."
Valeant is one of a number of companies being investigated over exorbitant price increases in certain drugs. Along with the company's credit ratings at risk for being downgraded, its share price has dropped to well under $100 from above $346 last summer.
More about Valeant Pharmaceuticals, predatory drug pricing, sec investigation, drop in shares, Hillary clinton
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