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Valeant Hopes Move Past `Valeant' Can Put Struggles in Past

  • ‘We are looking at alternatives,’ CEO says at annual meeting
  • Drugmaker’s shares down more than 95 percent amid criticism

Valeant is ready to move on from “Valeant.”

Chief Executive Officer Joe Papa said that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is considering a name change after a two-year stretch that has seen the company lose more than 95 percent of its value amid harsh criticism of its business practices and future prospects.

“We have thought about our name,” Papa said at the company’s annual meeting Tuesday in Laval, Quebec. “We are looking at the alternatives.” He cited the bad publicity the company has experienced as a consideration.

No final decision had been made but the company is “very serious” in considering the idea, Papa said.

There’s a long history of corporate name changes after scandals, reputational blows or other negative associations. In 2003, tobacco giant Philip Morris changed its name to Altria Group Inc. after a tobacco litigation settlement. Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. changed its name to Ionis...