Skip to main content

File photo of Michael Pearson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals.CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. chief executive Michael Pearson – hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia last month – says he's getting better but can't say when he will be back.

"I'm glad to say that I'm on the road to recovery and although the timing of my return remains uncertain, I look forward to being back at work when able," Mr. Pearson said in a memo to employees released Monday by the Laval, Que.-based drug giant.

"As you know, 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."

Mr. Pearson does not provide details on the complications. His comment on the uncertainty of the timing of his return reiterates what the company said two weeks ago.

The medical leave came in the wake of a series of controversies that rocked Valeant, sending its share price tumbling and shaking investor confidence.

Steep drug-price hikes for some of its products came under fire from critics and short-seller Citron Research alleged wrongdoing at Valeant's specialty pharmacy operations.

Valeant ended up cutting all ties to embattled mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services and is conducting an internal investigation. It also faces probes by U.S. government prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts over its price-hike policies.

Former Valeant chief financial officer Howard Schiller was named interim CEO earlier this month.

He said in a statement at the time that he would continue to execute on the company's current strategic plan.

Mr. Pearson said in December that Valeant plans to play down its emphasis on growth-by-acquisition and focus more on R&D, organic growth and debt reduction.

Valeant also recently struck a deal with U.S. pharmacy giant Walgreen for the distribution of many of its products through the chain's 8,000-outlet network.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe