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May 2, 2008

Valeant Cuts Almost Half Its Workforce

  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals has axed 130 jobs in the U.S. and Mexico and plans to nix another 1,250 positions within the next year. The total reduction represents almost half its current workforce of 3,000 employees, as stated on its website. The firm, which began implementing restructuring plans in 2006, believes these efforts will bring expenses in line with revenues.

    Valeant has already taken a $161.35 million hit in terms of restructuring charges in 2006 and 2007. The charge is offset by at least $108.6 million the company has received through sales of various assets.

    In May 2006, Valeant sold its manufacturing facility in Warsaw, Poland, to Strides Polska. Later that year in December, Ardea Biosciences bought some of the company’s discovery and preclinical assets, agreeing to pay milestone fees and royalties. In June 2007, Legacy Pharmaceuticals picked up Valeant’s production plants in Puerto Rico and Switzerland as well as its Reptilase product.

    In January, the firm received $70.8 million through the divestment of U.S. and Canadian rights to hepatitis C drug Infergen® from Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals. Three Rivers could pay up to $20.5 million more in milestones. About two months later, Valeant sold its Asia Pacific business to Invida Pharmaceutical for approximately $37.8 million.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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