Suture Express, an Overland Park, Kan.-based specialty distributor of medical and surgical supplies, filed a lawsuit alleging that medical supply giants Cardinal Health and Owens & Minor engaged in anti-competitive behavior that prevented hospitals from using specialty suppliers.
The antitrust lawsuit was filed Dec. 5 in U.S. District Court in Kansas.
Suture Express, which distributes sutures and endomechanical products, is seeking more than $200 million in damages to compensate for lost sales, as well as changes in the wholesalers' business practices.
“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 Suture Express President and CEO Brian Forsythe in a news release
A spokeswoman for Cardinal Health said the Dublin, Ohio-based company does not comment on pending legislation. Owens & Minor, based in Mechanicsville, Va., did not respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies charged penalty fees to providers that did not purchase requisite levels of sutures and endomechanical products from them. It also alleges that hospitals faced higher costs when they were denied access to Suture Express' products.