- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - The head of troubled pharmaceutical company Valeant has been hospitalized.

An emailed statement from Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little says CEO Michael Pearson has been admitted for “severe” pneumonia. No other details were given.

Last week, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. slashed its fourth-quarter financial predictions and issued a profit outlook for 2016 that was short of Wall Street’s estimate. Its sales have been hurt after scrutiny from Congress and the media led it to end a controversial distribution arrangement with the Philidor mail-order pharmacy.

The Canadian company’s shares have dropped 57 percent from an August record high.

Valeant had grown rapidly since Pearson joined in 2008 and began buying smaller drug developers, hiking drug prices and then slashing research spending for new drugs.

The New York Times reported Pearson’s illness earlier.

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