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Pharma companies pull ads from Outcome Health - as Goldman Sachs, Alphabet sue

Tyrone Stewart
Outcome Health
Outcome Health

Healthcare information and advertising company Outcome Health is having a rough time of it as of late. The Chicago-based startup has seen a number of major advertisers pull tens of millions of dollars from its service, amid accusations that it misled clients about the performance of ads. On top of that, it’s being sued by its investors.

Outcome Health, which launched in 2006, delivers pharmaceutical ads to patients on screens in placed in doctors’ offices. The screens show educational programming, free to doctors, but Outcome makes money off the ads.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bristol-Myers Squibb – one of Outcome’s largest customers – has opted not to renew its ad agreement for 2018, losing Outcome what is believed to be in the region of $20m. Several other agencies have also decided that, until verification of accurate data is provided, they will no longer pay for ads with the company.

The issue relates to certain members of Outcome’s staff charging pharma companies for ads on more video screens than had been installed by Outcome. As a result, the company has placed three employees on leave, and is continuing to internally review the allegations.

While that’s going on the startup is also being accused of fraud and breach of contract by an investment unit made up of Goldman Sachs, Alphabet, and other firms. The firms, which only invested in Outcome earlier this year, accuse the healthcare advertising startup of misleading them with false data and financial reports before they invested back in March.

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