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Drug Data Companies Face Off In Antitrust Suit

Posted  August 8, 2013

Symphony Health Solutions Corp. has filed an antitrust complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging that competitor IMS Health Inc. is snuffing out competition in markets for pharmaceutical data products.

According to the complaint in Symphony Health Solutions Corp. v. IMS Health Inc., IMS, the world’s largest supplier of pharmaceutical and health care industry-related data has negotiated exclusive long-term agreements with health care providers and pharmacies that prevent competitors such as Symphony from effectively competing in the markets for pharmaceutical data products.  Symphony claims that IMS has eliminated vital competition, which has caused higher prices for customers of data related products.

Symphony alleges that IMS unreasonably restrains competition through a variety of anticompetitive tactics, including by predatory bundling of four products, “data for managed care markets, the global marketplace, anonymous patient-level data and so-called targeted and compensation data that focuses on physicians.”  Such bundling allegedly allows IMS to price below a competitive level for Symphony.

Symphony also claims that IMS’s use of most-favored nations clauses in its contracts with data suppliers has “enabled IMS to set artificially high prices for any data purchased from those suppliers by Symphony and other competitors.”

The pharmaceutical and health care industry-related data industry has consolidated significantly in the past decade, according to the complaint.  Symphony alleges that IMS has acquired its competitors in a bid to “eliminate competition and collaboration among its rivals.”  Symphony itself is the offspring of the merging of four health care analytical companies last year.

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,