Valeant's ill CEO Pearson on the 'road to recovery'

Valeant's ($VRX) pneumonia-stricken CEO, J. Michael Pearson, is on the mend, according to a letter he penned to his colleagues on Monday. But as to when he'll be back at work, it's still up in the air.

According to Pearson, some "unexpected complications" made his hospital stay longer than he anticipated. And though he's on the "road to recovery" and looks forward to "being back at work when able," the timing of his return "remains uncertain."

The Canadian pharma's chief has officially been on a medical leave of absence since Dec. 28, after being hospitalized the week prior. Currently, interim CEO Howard Schiller--a Valeant director and the company's former CFO--is running the show in his place; he was instated early this month, replacing a three-man "Office of the Chief Executive Officer" squad comprising General Counsel Robert Chai-Onn, Company Group Chairman Ari Kellen and current CFO Robert Rosiello.

And while Schiller has said he expects to stick to the script in 2016, the business he'll be running this year looks a whole lot different from the one Pearson has been leading over the past few years. Valeant is laying off its signature M&A for the time being, a move Schiller says will help people "see the business with no confusion" and "regain confidence and credibility" after Enron-style allegations rocked the company in October. Plus, political pushback has prompted Valeant to nix nearly all of its planned price increases for the new year; instead, it's in the process of implementing a pair of price-cutting and distribution deals it inked with Walgreens ($WBA) in late 2015.

On the price hike front, it's Schiller who's slated to head to Washington early next month to testify during a congressional price-hike hearing. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants the scoop on heart meds Isuprel and Nitropress, which the company jacked up by 536.7% and 236.6% after purchasing them from Marathon Pharmaceuticals last summer.

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