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Controversial drug company CEO is hospitalized with pneumonia

Controversial drug company CEO is hospitalized with pneumonia
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is based in suburban Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz / Canadian Press via Associated Press)

The head of troubled Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been hospitalized.

Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said in an emailed statement that Chief Executive Michael Pearson has been admitted for "severe" pneumonia.  No other details were given.

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Last week, the company, based in suburban Montreal, slashed its fourth-quarter financial predictions and issued a profit outlook for 2016 that was short of Wall Street's estimate.

The company 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.

Its sales have been hurt after scrutiny from Congress and the media over the price hikes led it to end a controversial distribution arrangement with the Philidor mail-order pharmacy.

The company's shares have dropped 57% from an August record high.

The New York Times reported Pearson's illness earlier.

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