Physician-led Choice Media of Somerville, N.J., announced last week that it has purchased consumer healthcare Web portal drkoop.com and two other healthcare portals.
Ash Nashed, M.D., 38, a Morristown, N.J., emergency room physician who founded the company in 1994 with a server in his basement running a bulletin board service for fellow ER physicians, said his company and the newly acquired site, named for the former U.S. surgeon general, have similar aims.
"Obviously, there is a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. C. Everett Koop," Nashed said. "His initial goal was to empower patients, and that was our goal when we launched our consumer portal."
Koop founded his namesake Web site in 1997 and saw it grow in two years to become the most visited consumer healthcare Web site in the country. It fell into bankruptcy by 2001 as one of the high-profile collapses of the dot-com era. Koop is no longer associated with the site.
Drkoop.com, which once had a stock valuation of $1 billion, was sold in 2002 to a Florida online vitamin and nutritional supplement distributor for a reported $186,000.
None of the companies involved are publicly traded, and the prices paid were not disclosed.
Nashed is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a board-certified emergency physician and member of Emergency Medical Associates of New Jersey. He is a member of the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University at Morristown Memorial Hospital.