Valeant Names New Finance Chief

25.08.2016 -

Canada-domiciled US drugmaker Valeant has appointed Paul Herendeen, former chief financial officer of Zoetis, to replace its own CFO, Robert Rosiello, as the company struggles to stay on course amid ongoing investigations and class action suits. The latest ousting follows the replacement of CEO Michael Pearson earlier this year with Joseph C. Papa, former chairman and CEO of Ireland-headquartered US pharmaceutical producer Perrigo.

Prior to taking the job at Zoetis, Herendeen held the position of CFO for a combined 16 years at MedPointe and Warner Chilcott. Among other things, Valeant has been criticized for buying smaller pharmaceutical players and subsequently jacking prices for their drugs. It is the subject of at least 11 investigations in the US and Canada, and its accounting and pricing practices are being audited by the US government. With earnings declining dramatically quarter-for-quarter for over a year, the company’s share price has fallen to from $264 to under $30.

Under pressure, former CEO Michael Pearson appeared before the US Senate’s Special Committee on Aging in late April of this year to explain why Valeant raised the price of some drugs fivefold. Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals, accused of increasing the price of a drug seven-fold, also appeared. However, congressional efforts to stop the practice of price gouging – the topic has also loomed large in the ongoing presidential campaign – have been largely unsuccessful.

Another generic drugmaker, Mylan – headquartered in both the UK and the US – has now moved into the negative spotlight for pushing through steep hikes in the price of the EpiPen, an epinephrine injector used largely by children to prevent potentially fatal allergic reactions. Introduced by at a price of under $60, the device now costs closer to $500. The company has a virtual monopoly.