Valeant shares tumble after report of fraud probe

NEW YORK - Shares of Valean Pharmaceuticals (VRX), already down 70 percent this year, are plunging in premarket trading on a report that it hid from insurers its ties to a mail-order pharmacy that sold its drugs.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that prosecutors are looking into the possibility that the Canadian pharmaceutical, already subject to several federal probes, covered up its ties to Philidor Rx Services.

Valeant cut its ties to Philidor in October following accusations that it was a phantom pharmacy used solely to boost Valeant's sales.

The report sent shares of Valeant down 9 percent before the opening bell Thursday.

The company says it's been cooperating with investigators since it disclosed an investigation by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in October.

Valeant lost almost $400 million in its first quarter, with the drugmaker cutting its profit and revenue expectations for the year.

The company's market capitalization, which had been $60 billion before a Oct. 14, 2015, disclosure that it was being investigated by federal prosecutors for how it prices its drugs, has since fallen to $11.7 billion.