In which a company sues an organization because the organization publishes a list of prices paid by hospitals for the corporations products – the hospitals volunteered the information, the corporation says trade secret.
Interesting article, but I feel a lot of sympathy for Guidant here: selling hospital beds and pacemakers is not like selling cars or stereos. The hospitals release RFPs and individual companies draft proposals before tendering offers; if one particular company has its pants pulled down re: pricing, it’s a safe bet that compny will find itself undercut next time around.
Now, if a federal law were passed which forced all medical-supply companies to publish their pricing information, that would be different. It would represent a paradigm shift in the way these companies operate, but at least the playing field would be level.
Just to be clear: I’m neither supporting nor endorsing Guidant’s lawsuit. Presuming that the watchdog group was voluntarily provided the information by the hospitals as they claim (and didn’t attain it via coercive or illicit means), then I don’t think they’re at fault.
Hopefully, Guidant has a clearly-worded NDA clause in their contracts. If so, their beef is really with their clients (the hospitals); if not, then they left their collective dicks swinging in the wind and have no business complaining when they get bitten off.