Aventis to sponsor handheld physician network in interactive clinical information pilot

Bridgewater 18 September 2001Aventis Pharmaceuticals has agreed to sponsor a group of primary care physicians and allergists to participate in the ePocrates handheld network. The ePocrates partnership is part of Aventis' e-business strategy to enhance patient outcomes through technology. In a pilot programme aimed at 500 physicians who are practising in Connecticut and Maryland, sponsored users will receive the ePocrates Rx and ePocrates ID drug reference guides, which contain data on safety topics such as indication-specific dosing, adverse reactions, and drug interactions for 99 percent of the most commonly prescribed drugs. Physicians can easily download information directly from the ePocrates Web site onto their handheld devices.


Participating physicians will also receive customised interactive educational and messaging programmes relevant to their practices, as well as abstracts and articles from leading medical journals and clinical content providers. The customised interactive content will provide scientific and medical information, will help educate physicians about Aventis programmes and products, and will assist them in making more informed decisions about patient care.

The ePocrates sponsorship will allow for regular communications between Aventis and participating physicians. Since ePocrates' proprietary software enables the network to serve as a two-way interactive channel, physicians can also request information tailored to their needs. ePocrates Inc. enables quick point-of-care access to important clinical information. Since the launch of ePocrates Rx in November 1999, the handheld physician network has grown to more than 340.000 users, including 165.000 physicians.

"Aventis and ePocrates share a common technology vision for the industry. We want to build solutions for physicians that make their lives more manageable and ultimately improve patient care and safety", commented Jeff Tangney, co-founder and vice president of business development at ePocrates Inc. "Partnering with Aventis, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to e-business and e-health, made the best sense for us."

Aventis Pharmaceuticals conducts the United States business of Aventis Pharma AG. The company focuses its activities on important therapeutic areas such as cardiology, oncology, anti-infectives, arthritis, allergy and respiratory, diabetes, and the central nervous system. Aventis was launched in December 1999 through the merger of Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc S.A.

ePocrates recently announced that the FDA MedWatch will utilise the ePocrates network to disseminate safety alerts, recalls, withdrawals, and important labelling changes to the ePocrates network. The FDA chose ePocrates as its handheld partner because of the large size of the network and the speed with which messages can be delivered. In addition to the ePocrates Rx clinical drug database, ePocrates also offers the ePocrates ID antimicrobial reference guide, DocAlert messaging capabilities, and a market research recruitment tool.

Leslie Versweyveld

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