Surescripts Anticompetitive Tactics in E-Prescription Markets Class Action

This antitrust class action brings suit against Surescripts, LLC, a health information technology firm. It accuses Surescripts of anticompetitive behavior to keep its monopoly over two markets related to electronic prescriptions—routing and eligibility.

Routing is the transmission of electronic prescriptions and related information from a prescriber via the prescriber’s electronic health record (EHR). Eligibility is the transmission of the patient’s formulary and benefit information from the party acting as the payer to the prescriber’s EHR system.

In 2009, Surescripts dominated in both markets. “And because both of these markets were poised to experience explosive growth due to federal incentives for e[-]prescribing,” the complaint alleges, “Surescripts feared that other health information technology companies could threaten its dominant positions.” For that reason, the complaint claims, “Surescripts took a series of anticompetitive actions to protect and maintain its monopolies.”

First among these measures was Surescripts pricing policy. If customers were “loyal”—that is, if they used only Surescripts—then they would be charged much lower prices.

Second, the complaint alleges that Surescripts threatened other companies to ensure that none of them “could get a toehold in either market.”

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., for example, tried to engage in a non-exclusive contract with Surescripts in 2016, so that it could also do business with another company. The complaint alleges that Surescripts threatened to punish Allscripts, by forbidding Allscripts from using eligibility information from Surescripts for certain transactions, cutting Allscripts off from the Surescripts pharmacy directory, and not allowing Allscripts access to a medication history service.

Third, the complaint alleges that Surescripts entered into an agreement with RelayHealth Corp. that stopped Relay from competing in the routing market for six years. The complaint alleges this was because competition with Relay might drop the price of routing down to two or three cents, while Surescripts was charging approximately ten times as much.

The complaint alleges that these tactics have enabled Surescripts to maintain its 95% share of transaction volume in both markets.

In April 2019, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Surescripts for its anticompetitive practices.

Two classes have been defined for this action.

The Injunctive Relief Class is all pharmacies in the US and its territories who indirectly bought or paid for e-prescription routing transactions from Surescripts beginning at least as early as January 1, 2010 until the effects of Surescript’s conduct cease.

The Damages Class is all pharmacies who indirectly bought or paid for e-prescription routing transactions from Surescripts during the class period in in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or any of the following states and commonwealths: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

Surescripts Anticompetitive Tactics in E-Prescription Markets Complaint

July 27, 2020

This antitrust class action brings suit against Surescripts, LLC, a health information technology firm. It accuses Surescripts of anticompetitive behavior to keep its monopoly over two markets related to electronic prescriptions—routing and eligibility.

Surescripts Anticompetitive Tactics in E-Prescription Markets Complaint

Case Event History

Surescripts Anticompetitive Tactics in E-Prescription Markets Complaint

July 27, 2020

This antitrust class action brings suit against Surescripts, LLC, a health information technology firm. It accuses Surescripts of anticompetitive behavior to keep its monopoly over two markets related to electronic prescriptions—routing and eligibility.

Surescripts Anticompetitive Tactics in E-Prescription Markets Complaint
Tags: Antitrust, Delaying Entry of Others into Market