Tracelink, Inc. has filed an antitrust suit against Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), an association of wholesaler distributors of pharmaceutical products, claiming that HDA “coordinated and, served as a conduit for, collective, anticompetitive acts” designed to shut out competition from supplying ‘track and trace’ products that enable compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
TraceLink alleges that HDA, beginning in July of 2017, ventured beyond its role as a trade association and lobby group into the commercial arena by supplying, on behalf of its collective membership, it’s Origin track and trace system.
The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court, further alleges that HDA sought to develop Origin after some of its members tipped off the association about “confidential” TraceLink plans to supply the industry with its own Cloud-based product designed to meet DSCSA regulations.
“These members reported to the HDA, and, as a result, to other HDA member wholesaler competitors about the TraceLink product functionality and TraceLink strategies,” according to the suit. “The HDA then, informed by these product designs and with the assistance of another technology vendor called ValueCentric, chose, collectively with and on behalf of its members, to supply and market its own DSCSA- compliant solution.” ValueCentric is not named in the suit.
The suit alleges that HDA then used its status as a trade association to coerce or persuade its members to use Origin and, in turn, to not use the track and trace products offered by private competitors, including TraceLink, and “used exclusionary license contracts” to prevent customers from using competitive track and trace compliance products.
“Various other persons, firms and corporations, not named as defendants, have participated as co-conspirators with HDA and have performed acts and made statements in furtherance of the conspiracy,” the suit states. “Such co-conspirators specifically include, but are not limited to, wholesaler distributors AmerisourceBergen, Inc., McKesson Corporation, Inc., and Cardinal Health, Inc.”
TraceLink claims it has incurred “substantial damages in the form of lost profits” and is seeking triple damages from HDA, reportedly around $30 million, and an injunction precluding the HDA from making use of its Origin platform mandatory.
TraceLink is asking for a jury trial.
At presstime, a spokesman for HDA could not be reached for comment on the suit.
(Source: Courthouse News)