Valeant sends letter in an attempt to reassure U.S. health-care professionals

MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals has written to American health-care professionals offering reassurance their patients will continue to have access to prescription medicines despite its decision to cut ties with a major mail-order pharmacy.

Chief executive Michael Pearson says in the two-page letter that the Quebec-based company is working on a new program to ensure patients continue to have access to Valeant (TSX:VRX) products formerly provided though specialty pharmaceutical partner Philidor Rx Services.

Pearson says U.S. patients will be able to access drugs through Philidor until Nov. 8 and then through major pharmacy chains and independent pharmacies.

Pearson defended Valeant’s link with Philidor, saying the goal was to ensure patients had the drugs doctors prescribed, even before insurance companies approved reimbursement.

“We know many doctors and patients were concerned about the recent allegations surrounding Philidor’s business practices, and so were we,” he said, without elaborating on the specific problems.

Meanwhile, Philidor defended its actions for the first time.

“We remain steadfast that Philidor has adhered not only to all applicable laws but to the highest standards of ethical business practice,” a spokesman said.

The Pennsylvania-based company confirmed it was winding down its main operations.

Philidor said it will work with Valeant over the next 30 to 90 days to help patients transfer prescriptions to other pharmacies. It plans to fill all prescriptions for the next week and “may continue to dispense certain prescriptions beyond that.”

Valeant’s shares, which have dropped more than 60 per cent since August, closed down 3.2 per cent at $127.65 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.