IMS Health Accused of Eliminating Competition to Gain Monopoly

IMS Health Accused of Eliminating Competition to Gain Monopoly

July 26th, 2013 // 12:56 pm @

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IMS Health is probably the leading company in the collection of data in the pharmaceutical industry. However, that company has a smaller rival, Symphony Health Solutions, that is now claiming that IMS has increased revenues and its base of customers illegally, the goal being to obtain a monopoly in the data collection industry in pharmaceuticals.

In the lawsuit that Symphony Health Solutions has filed, it states that IMS has many questionable tactics to dominate the data market in the pharma industry. One example is that IMS has a bundle of four products -  data on managed care market, the global market, patient level data that is anonymous, and compensation/targeted data on doctors. In doing this, IMS pushes Symphony out of the market by offering prices at levels that it is impossible for Symphony to compete.

Another accusation is that the company inks exclusive contracts with companies that gather prescription data, such as at long term care centers, pharmacy benefit managers and whole sales. This includes Caremark, which collects information on specialty drugs. Symphony also states that IMS does contracts with firms that have most favored nation clauses so that the companies sell data to Symphony at higher prices.

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Symphony says that IMS Health is engaging in practices with competitors, customers and suppliers to create a monopoly in the pharma data market.

One example of anti trust activity that is alleged is that IMS tells customers that it will hike prices on one of its global data products if customers won’t by another product as well. Symphony believes that this kind of bundling reduces competition.

Another example in the suit is a product called a formulary analyzer that IMS gives away to some customers for free. This was after it got competition from Symphony on the product and lost some contracts. Symphony also states that IMS is poaching employees, who later trashed their old employer to try to win business.

Symphony states that these problems are largely due to several acquisitions that IMS Health made a few years ago, such as the purchase of SDI, which was its only real competitor left. Symphony then was formed a few months after that as it merged four research companies that now compete with IMS on four product markets. But Symphony has only about 14% of the market, while IMS has the rest.

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