The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced a proposed order that would prohibit health information technology company Surescripts from engaging in exclusionary conduct and executing or enforcing non-compete agreements with current and former employees.
This comes after a favorable federal court ruling found Surescripts possess a near-total monopoly power in e-prescribing services, known as a ‘supershare’ of 95%.
In April 2019, the FTC charged Surescripts with allegedly employing illegal vertical and horizontal restraints to maintain its power over two electronic prescribing, or ‘e-prescribing,’ markets: routing and eligibility.
FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova spoke on the announcement, issuing a statement that read: “The proposed order is a victory in creating a fair and competitive playing field in the e-prescription drug market. In large part because of Surescripts’ conduct, virtually everyone today who has a prescription filled electronically does so via the Surescripts networks.”
The proposed order has a 20-year term and would prohibit Surescripts from engaging in the exclusionary conduct deemed illegal by the FTC in its complaint.
The order is part of a continuing effort to protect competition and open markets, increasing the options for consumers and lowering costs.
The FTC is expected to conduct a survey of the industry in the immediate future, and the survey outcomes will have a huge impact on the final decision. The proposed order will not be finalized until after this survey is completed and the FTC has evaluated the results. Until then, the Bureau of Competition is confident that this proposed order will provide a much-needed check on Surescripts’ power and make the market fairer for all.
Source: FTC Gov