Valeant just picked up a key new partner and the stock is surging

Valeant is finally getting some good news to close out the year.

The specialty pharmaceutical and device company has struck a deal with Walgreens that will extend Valeant’s distribution reach into the retailer’s 8,000-plus stores.

Valeant shares rose about five per cent in advance of the opening bell.

As part of the partnership, Valeant will slash dermatological and opthalmological products distributed via Walgreens by 10%.

“We have listened to what the marketplace is saying and we’ve taken positive steps to respond,” said J. Michael Pearson, chairman and chief executive officer of Valeant.

The news precedes Valeant’s investor day, coming up December 16, where the company is expected to give an update on its business, which has been hammered by a lingering scandal over its Philidor mail-order pharmacy business. Other retailers, including CVS, have severed ties between its Caremark prescription benefit provider and Valeant’s mail-order arm.

As part of its defence against critics and short-sellers, Valeant has engaged a Washington, DC, attorney and crisis public relations firm.

The company has also announced it will end Philidor’s operations in early 2016.

So far this year, shares in Valeant are down more than 33 per cent.

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