Valeant sends letter to doctors, seeks to reassure over pharmacy ties

Mon Nov 2, 2015 7:50pm EST
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By Carl O'Donnell and Caroline Humer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc sought to reassure doctors on Monday that the company's decision to cut ties to a controversial specialty pharmacy would not disrupt doctors' ability to prescribe the company's drugs to patients.

In a letter to healthcare professionals seen by Reuters, Chief Executive Officer Michael Pearson said that Valeant would pay for the cost of its products through Nov. 8 and make sure patients could fill their prescriptions with no out-of-pocket expenses, wherever possible. Patients on government-run health plans such as Medicare are not eligible.

Pearson said that Valeant's former partner pharmacy, Hatboro, Pennsylvania-based Philidor Rx Services, will file no further insurance claims.

Philidor, which almost exclusively handled prescriptions for Valeant medications, has been accused of improperly pressing insurers for reimbursement for the drugs after they were dispensed to patients.

Valeant said on Friday it was cutting ties with Philidor, effectively shutting down the pharmacy's operations, as Valeant investigates whether Philidor engaged in any illegal activity.

"We know many doctors and patients were concerned about the recent allegations surrounding Philidor’s business practices, and so were we," Pearson said in the letter.

Valeant’s stock has plunged more than 40 percent since Oct. 21, when a report by a short seller raised questions about Valeant’s relationship with Philidor.

After its role in the transition plan is complete, Philidor will wind down its operations and let go of its employees over the coming weeks, according to a statement from Philidor.   Continued...

The company logo of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc is seen at its headquarters in Laval, Quebec May 19, 2015.   REUTERS/Christinne Muschi