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Valeant Pharmaceuticals to Make Sweeping Changes to Board

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. VRX -3.62 % is planning sweeping changes to its board of directors as it moves to set a new tone at the top of a company under fire from politicians and investors for its management and drug-pricing practices.

The drugmaker is expected to announce as early as Friday that five of its long-standing directors have agreed to step down to make room for new nominees, according to people familiar with the matter. Four new directors are lined up to join the board, the people said. Their names couldn’t be learned, but they draw heavily from traditional pharmaceutical companies, the people said—a sign that Valeant is looking for credibility from an industry it has long criticized as bloated, slow-moving and wasteful.

Incoming Chief Executive Joseph Papa, a drug-industry veteran, will also join the board and will take on the role of chairman. He is expected to start work Monday.

William Ackman, a Valeant director and major shareholder, signaled the pending change during his testimony at a Senate Committee hearing during which he, outgoing CEO Michael Pearson and director Howard Schiller faced tough questioning over Valeant’s widespread drug...