In 2014, J read an article in about Valeant and its C. O., 55-year-old Michael Pearson, and the reasons for the outrageous price increases of his wife’s medicine became clearer. Pearson’s approach should be a blueprint for the pharmaceutical industry’s future: Grow through serial deal-making, including tax ‘inversion’ purchases of foreign companies to take advantage of lower tax rates [abroad]. And, above all, stop spending so much money on risky research,” wrote the .
The article quoted Mason Morfit, the president of Value Act Capital, a prominent investment fund, saying that Pearson “is the best CEO I’ve ever worked with.”J learned that Valeant had bought Aton, for 8 million in 2010.
In six months 90 percent of the company’s value disappeared.Today these are the standard treatments for Wilson’s, and they must be taken for life. Their symptoms went away, and they both went on to highly successful careers, N as a public-relations executive and K in the wealth-management division of a major investment firm.Their insurance covered the cost of the drug, which wasn’t much because Syprine is simple to make.“I realized these guys were going to raise prices however much they wanted with no consequences,” J says.By 2015, Pearson had built his company into a colossus with an equity market value of around billion.In presentations Pearson bragged to investors that the purchase had quickly earned back 2.5 times its cost.Though the patient base for Syprine is tiny, the drug, thanks to its exorbitant price hikes, had become one of Valeant’s top-20 drugs by revenue by 2014.Pearson saw the world solely in terms of dollars and cents.One investor remembers him at a health-care conference where most attendees were wearing pink ribbons in support of breast-cancer research and treatment.But fortunately her doctor had a lifesaving insight for both her and her sister, K: “I think you have Wilson’s disease,” he told N after noticing strange golden-brown rings in her irises.Wilson’s is a rare inherited disorder—only one in about 30,000 people worldwide has it—in which the body can’t metabolize copper.