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Head of Valeant's dermatology unit exits in management shakeup

March 4, 2016
Life sciences

Valeant has already announced plenty of big management changes this week, but it’s adding to the list.

VP Deb Jorn–head of the company’s U.S. dermatology and gastrointestinal businesses–is leaving the drugmaker, effective immediately, Valeant said Wednesday. Eric Abramson, VP of dermatology and immunology marketing, will take the reins in skincare, while EVP and Company Group Chairman Ari Kellen will assume her place overseeing the GI business.

Jorn, who Valeant has credited with the successful launch of key dermatology products Jublia and Luzu, joined Valeant when it bought out Bausch & Lomb, where she headed up global marketing for 5 years.

Jorn’s departure follows months of turmoil for the company’s dermatology business, which took a hit when Valeant cut off specialty pharmacy Philidor amid allegations that it used the pharmacy to inflate its top line. CEO J. Michael Pearson last year worked to reassure investors that the unit would be able to rebound, boasting on a call with investors that even amid the scandal, “we lost two reps in dermatology. That’s it.” PBM giant CVS has also taken aim at Jublia as part of a cost-cutting measure, vowing to restrict the drug.

And Jorn’s exit follows a tumultuous couple weeks for the company as a whole. Last week, Valeant acknowledged $58 million in Philidor-related accounting missteps, and already this week, it’s announced Pearson’s return from a medical leave of absence–as well as the appointment of new chairman Robert Ingram; scrapped its 2016 guidance; delayed the release of its fourth-quarter results; disclosed a competitive threat to key GI med Xifaxan; and confirmed that it’s being investigated by the SEC.

Additionally, it’s working to fight back against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who targeted the company’s “predatory” pricing practices in a recent television ad.

The deluge of news hasn’t exactly thrilled investors. When the market closed Wednesday, Valeant’s stock had sunk 16% for the week to hit a level 75% lower than its $262.52 peak last August.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

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