Hospital alliances Premier and VHA and VHA's group purchasing organization, Novation, have settled a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by safety needle manufacturer Retractable Technologies, Little Elm, Texas. As a result, the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Texarkana, Texas, was dismissed April 29. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Tyco Healthcare Group also joined the settlement, leaving Becton, Dickinson and Co. as the only remaining defendant. Retractable Technologies officials said the agreement included cash payments and "other financial consideration, as well as provisions that are intended to facilitate the sale" of its products to Premier and Novation hospitals. In its federal lawsuit filed in January 2001, the company accused the defendants of anticompetitive business practices that prevented Retractable Technologies from entering the hospital marketplace. The defendants denied the allegation. Premier said it admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement but agreed in order to "put our time, attention and resources toward more productive support for hospitals and healthcare workers." VHA said the settlement would have "no material impact on cooperative distributions" to members or on VHA's financial performance. All parties said they considered the terms of the settlement to be favorable. -- by Cinda Becker
Premier, VHA settle devicemaker's antitrust charges
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