Valeant enlarges board to 14 members; three new directors and one departure

LAVAL, Que. – Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which has been navigating through a number of crises in recent months, is adding three new members to its board of directors.

The Quebec-based drug maker says the board will grow to 14 directors with the addition of the new faces and one departure.

Valeant says Anders Lonner resigned Tuesday due to “other priorities and personal commitments.”

The three new independent directors include Stephen Fraidin, vice-chairman at Pershing Square Capital Management, one of Valeant’s largest shareholders.

Also joining the board is Fred Eshelman, the founder and former chief executive and executive chairman of Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc., and former University of North Carolina president Thomas Ross.

Valeant (TSX:VRX) confirmed recently that it’s being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking at accounting and inventory issues at Salix Pharmaceuticals — acquired last year for US$11 billion.

Valeant is also under investigation by U.S. Attorney’s offices in Massachusetts and New York, as well as the U.S. Congress, as part of their probes into price increases for certain specialty drugs.