Epocrates–The App is Free, but Come with Focused Ads

Epocrates, provider of a very popular free phone app that lets clinicians look up information on drug dosing, interactions and insurance coverage while seeing a patient, has a problem:  advertising.  According to an article in the New York Times, “the apps can select messages based on each doctor’s search and prescription histories, and the company has ambitious plans for expanded smartphone offerings. One possibility is a virtual sales rep that would help drug makers get their wares in front of physicians who decline to see human sales representatives.”

“Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, has certainly found the marketing channel to be an effective way to reach doctors. “The beauty of the work we do with Epocrates is that we literally put ourselves in the palm of their hand,” said Dr. Freda Lewis Hall, chief medical officer at Pfizer.”

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