Healthcare Pulse: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN)

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Short seller Andrew Left, who has brought Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) to its knees in the recent days, is not planning anything earth-shattering on a new update. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Left reiterated his intentions to attack the company’s ‘corporate culture’ instead. Mr. Left says he decided to dial back on new allegations after a sit down with his lawyers.

Valeant has already refuted allegations that it uses specialty pharmacies to inflate financial results as alleged by the short seller. The company has termed the allegations ‘sensational, false, and misleading’. It has also severed ties with Philidor whose business practices continue to evoke criticism.

Mr. Left pulling back on additional allegations should be good news for Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) whose reputation is already on the line. The drug maker has already formed an ad hoc committee that it hopes will set the record straight about its business practices.

Not all is well for Valeant, while Andrew Left pulled back,  Charlie Munger had harsh words for the company, reiterating comparisons he made to ITT in a Bloomberg Interview.

A report by the Food and Drugs Administration indicates that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) used expired manufacturing materials at its plant in China. Upon inspections of the facility the agency says it found the company kept a second set of records that did not match official ones.

It is also emerging that when tests of drug products failed to meet standards, they were re-tested until desired results were achieved. The failures were never investigated or reported. During the April inspections, officials also tried to hide key documents from investigators. The hidden documents were for manufacturing numbers of drug materials, manufacturing yield, temperature and humidity conditions

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) says it has addressed all the issues raised by the FDA during the pre-approval process. It also affirms that issues cited in the report did not in any way indicate quality or safety concerns of products already in the market.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) could post a 1.5% slip in revenue for the three months ending September due to fluctuation currency pressures. Revenue miss in the third quarter could pile more pressure on the pharmaceutical giant as concerns continue to grow over its long-term prospects.

AstraZeneca posting revenues of $5.9 billion would be a big blow especially as it is staring at competition from cheaper generic drugs. Its lead drug Crestor could face stiff competition next year when its patent protection expires.

The Street would like to hear what the company has to say about its key growth drivers revolving around diabetes and respiratory treatments. AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is banking on these two segments to offset sales declines from heartburn treatment (Nexium) and heart disease treatment Crestor.

The Food and Drugs Administration has already declined to approve the company’s drug for diabetes. The delay means AstraZeneca will have to do more next year if it is to catch up with Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY)’s diabetes drug Glyxambi.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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