Drugs.com defects to WebMD

Drugs.com is aligning with its current network's rival
Drugs.com is aligning with its current network's rival
Drugs.com, a free online drug-information database, will join the WebMD Health Network starting Jan. 1, said WebMD.

Drugs.com is presently a member of the Everyday Health Network. The shift means the site's monthly visitors, now counted toward the total unique-visitor traffic for Everyday Health, will soon be added to WebMD's tally. As of September, Drugs.com had 4.8 million unique monthly visitors, an increase of 36% vs. September 2008, according to online audience-measurement firm comScore.  

“With Drugs.com in WebMD's network, we will be providing the pharmaceutical industry with the largest audience of target consumers and patients seeking product-related information,” said a WebMD spokesperson.

The two networks have been in a close race for traffic. Everyday Health surpassed WebMD a year ago to lead the online consumer health space, following its acquisition of Revolution Health. But an April report in MM&M, citing comScore figures, noted that WebMD had pulled within one million unique visitors of its rival.

The pact also gives WebMD exclusive control over Drugs.com's pharmaceutical and other advertising inventory, WebMD said. Since 2007 the site's advertising representation has been handled by Waterfront Media, the publisher of Everyday Health Network.  

"Everyday Health had a tremendous 2009, averaging 20-25 million unique visitors a month," said CEO Ben Wolin. "Additionally, over 30 million consumers are now Everyday Health registered users. We expect our audience and database to continue growing throughout 2010 as we continue to improve and evolve the composition of our portfolio sites."

Drugs.com, which is owned and operated by a privately held trust administered by two New Zealand pharmacists, will retain control of its content, the spokesperson said.  The site provides free information on more than 24,000 prescription, OTC and natural products, along with a pill identifier, drug-interaction checker, illustrated health encyclopedia and online medical dictionary.