Epocrates narrows market research to target pharmas

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Athenahealth has wasted little time in putting its mark on Epocrates.

The electronic health records and practice management giant finalized its acquisition of mobile health firm Epocrates just last week, but has already eliminated part of its market research business which offered marketing research firms access to its physician panels. Eight of those employees were promptly hired by MDLinx owner M3 Global Research, an Epocrates partner. The M3 hires included former Epocrates market research lead Sheryl Lowenhar.

“As part of the merger, we've been taking a look at all of our initiatives to see what fits strategically,” said Healther Gervais, SVP commercial operations at Epocrates. “At its center, that's helping caregivers make good decisions, and we decided that being a broker didn't meet our needs, so we're discontinuing those services.”

Gone is the company's QuickRecruit business, whereby research firms doing surveys could buy access to Epocrates' physician panels. The company will keep its insight analytical platform, which caters to Wall Street analysts seeking market insights and to pharmas wanting basic message testing and segmentation in a hurry.

Epocrates will continue to honor existing QuickRecruit contracts, said Gervais, but won't take on new clients for it.

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