Three Major Health Sites Bought by MD-Founded Network
SOMERVILLE, N.J., Aug 10, 2004 -- Choice Media, Inc., one of the largest healthcare information networks on the Internet, and its wholly owned subsidiary, MDChoice.com, Inc., have acquired three health portals, reaching millions of additional health-minded consumers each year.
Two of the websites -- DrKoop.com and DrDrew.com -- were acquired by MDChoice.com, Inc. with the purchase of Vitacost Holdings, Inc. from Vitacost.com Inc. HealthSquare.com was acquired from New Media Systems, LLC. All the companies are privately held and no purchase price was disclosed.
For Choice Media, the parent company founded five years ago by a group of academic physicians, the additional websites mark an acceleration in the network's rapid growth. The purchase will allow the Choice Media Network -- which is also a leading supplier of syndicated healthcare content to online portals -- to offer additional sponsorship and advertising opportunities to pharmaceutical manufacturers.
"Increasing the size of our network, so that it encompasses a larger share of the healthcare consumer audience, is a critical part of our business plan," said Ash Nashed, MD, president and CEO of Choice Media and its subsidiaries. "By acquiring these highly respected websites, we can build on our commitment to consumers, providing credible sources of medical information to the public while offering greater advertising reach for our sponsors."
Dr. Allen Josephs, MD, president of Vitacost.com, Inc. pointed out that the relationship with Choice Media has been a win-win situation for both. "We are proud to have increased shareholder value significantly and added tens of thousands of new customers to Vitacost.com," he said, adding that the company has an ongoing agreement with Choice Media to continue to provide nutritional content for drkoop.com.
The best-known of the three Internet sites, DrKoop.com, was a pioneer in the online healthcare revolution. Designed to help people of all ages play a more active role in their own health management, the site -- which at one point was valued at more than $1 billion -- had its content featured on more than 20 top-rated television stations nationwide. Today, the website offers a leading medical encyclopedia, award-winning drug information, a directory of drug interactions, current health news, natural medicine articles, online checkups and other interactive tools. The drkoop.com URL and web site are not associated with C. Everett Koop, M.D., former Surgeon General of the United States.
DrDrew.com, on the other hand, is designed specifically for young adults. The site provides information and advice on relationships, sex and health issues and celebrity interviews.
HealthSquare.com is a major, high-traffic site that focuses on family health issues and features the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR(R)), the leading guide to drugs in the U.S. The online PDR includes details and color illustrations of more than 1,000 prescription drugs products, 400 color pill images and 500 patient information pamphlets. In addition, the site features the PDR's family guide to Women's Health.
About Choice Media, Inc.
Headquartered in Somerville, NJ, Choice Media is a respected leader in convergence marketing for healthcare companies. The company specializes in the buying, selling and delivery of online marketing solutions with customized multi-media strategies. One of the largest online healthcare information networks in the world, it is also the leader in advertising sales, representing highly targeted, premium-branded web properties to global marketers.
Choice Media owns or exclusively represents some of the top medical and health-related websites, including Healthscout.com, HealthCentral.com, drkoop.com, MDchoice.com and Intelihealth. The company also provides health content and operates portals for many of the Web's best known brands, including Bellsouth, Drugs.com, Earthlink, Excite, Infospace, iWon, Healthsquare, SBC Prodigy and USA Today. MDChoice.com Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Choice Media, Inc., and owns Vitacost Holdings, Inc. Further information is available at http://www.choicemedia.com.
All trademarks referenced in this release are properties of their respected owners.
Vitacost.com is a privately held, online source of consumer health information and high-quality health products and nutraceuticals, whose mission is to help customers better manage their personal health. The company sells over 5,000 products with most at wholesale prices (30 - 75% savings), and further enhances value through independent laboratory testing and evaluation of relevant scientific literature by a panel of prestigious medical doctors. Vitacost.com, an INC 500 company three years in a row, was founded in 1994 and has proudly served over half a million customers.