UPDATE 6-Valeant CEO sees new drug pricing environment ahead

Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:00pm EDT
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* Expects price increases of no more than 10 percent

* Plans to increase R&D spending

* Targets neurological division for sale (Adds Breakingviews link)

By Caroline Humer

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , which has been criticized for raising drug prices and is being investigated by the U.S. government, predicted on Monday that lower price increases are ahead for the whole industry.

Valeant Chief Executive J. Michael Pearson told investors the company's 2016 outlook is based on expectations for a new pricing environment where none of its drugs have an actual price increase of more than 10 percent.

Valeant shares fell 7.7 percent, or $13.73, to close at $163.83 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Concerns about drug pricing have loomed over pharmaceutical stocks since last year and the sector's shares have fallen sharply in the past few weeks since Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized the price rises on the campaign trail.

"The pharmaceutical industry is being aggressively sort of attacked for past pricing actions," Pearson said. "I do think, given that environment, the pricing that pharmaceutical companies will take in the future will be more modest."   Continued...