Suture Express Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Suture Express, the leading specialty distributor of suture, endomechanical and related surgical products, has filed an antitrust lawsuit in the United States Federal District Court for the District of Kansas against Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor, both broad-based wholesale distributors of medical and surgical supplies.
The suit claims Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor abused their market power and engaged in anticompetitive behavior to prevent their customers from taking advantage of specialty suppliers, like Suture Express, which better serve customer needs within their specialties. The suit seeks changes in business practices by Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor to create a level playing field, as well as more than $200 million in damages to compensate the company for lost sales.
"Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor contracts threaten customers with prohibitive financial penalties and other disincentives if they don't agree to include suture and endomechanical products in their orders," said Brian Forsythe, CEO of Suture Express. "Imposing these financial penalties would make it financially impossible for customers to buy suture and endomechanical products from another distributor, even if offered significantly better service and prices."
The lawsuit alleges that Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor resorted to anticompetitive practices to protect their dominant market shares despite their inability to deliver suture and endomechanical products as efficiently or cost-effectively as Suture Express. Availability of the right sutures and endomechanical products is critical both to doctors and to patients undergoing almost any invasive medical procedure. However, because the product range is so great and the products are so specialized, the broad-based distributors stock a much smaller percentage of the products than specialty distributors like Suture Express, which stocks the vast majority of them. The Suture Express model ensures doctors have what they need to treat patients, when they need it.
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