McKesson HBOC Inc., the largest U.S. drug wholesaler and a leading health-care software designer, said Tuesday it has sued rival W3Health Corp. and 12 former McKesson HBOC employees, accusing them of stealing software trade secrets.
W3Health denied the allegations, saying in a news release that McKesson is bullying a rival that's created a superior product and is trying to discourage McKesson workers from leaving for better jobs.
The suit was filed in Massachusetts Superior Court in Middlesex County, San Francisco-based McKesson said.
The suit alleges that W3Health's competing DRS computer software was based on iMcKesson's Clinical Resource Management System.
CRMS is a McKesson unit's reporting and analysis software used by managed-care organizations and other providers to organize health-care delivery.
The suit alleges that Wilmington, Mass.-based W3Health recruited the 12 former McKesson workers, who the suit says were involved in developing and marketing McKesson's CRMS.
McKesson shares rose 81 cents to close at $25.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
"McKesson HBOC is using an increasingly common business tactic: suing a potential competitor that has developed a superior product," W3Health Chief Executive Doug Percy said.