Dan Rattiner's Stories

Valeant Pharmaceuticals CEO Hospitalized

A corporate executive, J. Michael Pearson of the Valeant Pharmaceuticals International company, was hospitalized last Saturday to treat severe Pneumonia. I suppose his life lies in the balance depending upon what pills he takes to get rid of the illness.

I do not in real life wish anybody dead, but I have no problem with fantasizing that somebody might die.

One of the jobs of any pharmaceutical company is to conduct research in laboratories to bring new and effective medicines into the world. Valeant doesn’t do that. What Valeant does is buy particular medicines sold by other pharmaceutical companies and then jack up the price. For instance, they bought the drug Doxycycline and raised the price from $20 a bottle to $1,889 a bottle. Of course those taking the drugs would try to find other comparable drugs to take. Too bad. There aren’t any. Either sell your house to buy the pills or, well, die.

Anyway, J. Michael Pearson is lying there, his life in the balance and I would like to think that he needs to take some pills that one of his competitors has just bought and jacked up the price. The doctors tell him these used to be a dollar a day, but now it’s a million dollars a day. Does he pay and live? Or does he save the money and die?

Well, if he’s not rich enough, he could sell his stock. But a share of Valeant sold for $260 in August and now is worth just $114.11 since the media has put a spotlight on his dealings. It’s not a good time to sell.

The New York Times article that reported Mr. Pearson’s hospitalization totally overlooks the morality of what he is doing.  Here’s how they report his hospitalization: “A lengthy incapacitation would probably worry investors. Mr. Pearson is the architect of the company’s business model and has been strongly associated with the company’s success.”

Get well soon, Mr. Pearson.

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