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Florida State Board approves filing direct lawsuit against Valeant

Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, approved filing a direct lawsuit against Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. for more than $60 million in losses, spokesman John Kuczwanski said in an email.

The board at its Nov. 7 meeting approved opting out of a class-action case and filing a direct lawsuit against Valeant in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J. In a presentation provided to the board, law firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann said direct action "provides the SBA a tactical edge that will further enhance its ability to obtain maximum recovery."

The case stems "from a fraudulent scheme ... to use a secret network of captive pharmacies to shield the company's drugs from competition, fraudulently inflate the prices of its products, and artificially boost sales," according to the presentation.

BLB&G currently represents 22 other institutional investors in direct actions against Valeant, including the $146 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin, T. Rowe Price Group, Principal Financial and Voya Financial.

Mr. Kuczwanski could not immediately provide a statement from board. Blair A. Nicholas, managing partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, could not be immediately reached for comment.