In Response to Mounting Scrutiny, Valeant, Hires Crisis Management Firm Vianovo.
As public scrutiny continues to mount, the pharmaceutical firm, Valeant, hired an attorney and a crisis management firm. Ever since Valeant drastically raised prices on some of their drugs, their PR has taken a hit. Their stock shares suffered greatly, and, according to a Reuters Business News article, “Valeant is also accused of potentially anti-competitive behavior in its contact lens business and close ties to a specialty pharmacy with aggressive billing practices.”
In response to the scrutiny and pressure from members of Congress and even prosecutors, Valeant hired a Washington, DC attorney and PR specialists in PR crises situations. The attorney they hired is Robert Kelner from Covington & Burling. His job will be managing and responding to inquiries from Congress. Covington & Burling offer their experience representing pharmaceuticals and drug manufacturers, like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, a big reason Valeant hired them to help with their PR crisis.
According to Reuters, “Valeant shares have lost nearly 75 percent of their value following the disclosures. Billionaire Bill Ackman, one of Valeant’s largest shareholders, has said the company made a “meaningful mistake” of underinvesting in public relations as it dealt with questions about its business practices.”
The crisis management firm Valeant hired is Vianovo. Vianovo, managed and led by people with previous experience working in the government as aides or on political campaigns. Because Vianovo specializes in PR crisis issues, they’re sure to play a helpful role in dispersing the scrutiny surrounding Valeant. Some of their previous clients include IBM and even Walmart, and they’ve also worked with healthcare groups, like Adventist Healthcare.
Despite their efforts to hire PR assistance, some wonder if Valeant is doing enough. After all, they’re spending far less than many companies do when faced with such a PR mess. This has many in the public questioning Valeant’s integrity and wondering if the company is taking the best course of action responding to the crisis. And public opinion matters. According to a 2015 Public Affairs Council survey, a whopping 64% of Americans base their decision of whether or not they’ll buy products from a company on how honest they feel a company is.
So while it’s great Valeant takes steps to stem the scrutiny surrounding their decisions, one can’t help but wonder if they’re doing enough.