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WebMD Health Corp.
Founded 1996 (1996)
Headquarters New York City, USA
Key people
David J. Schlaner
Steven L. Zatz, M.D.
Products Health information services
Number of employees
1,400 (2009)
Slogan Better Information. Better Health.
Website www.webmd.com

WebMD is an American corporation which provides health news, advice, and expertise. It was founded in 1996 by Jim Clark and Pavan Nigam as Healthscape, later Healtheon, and then acquired WebMD in 1999 from Robert Draughon to form Healtheon/WebMD. The name was later shortened to WebMD.


WebMD is primarily known for its public website, which has information regarding health and health care, including a symptom checklist, pharmacy information, drugs information, blogs of physicians with specific topics and a place to store personal medical information.[2][not in citation given]

In the first quarter of 2007, WebMD had the highest number of unique page visits compared to other leading private and government healthcare websites.[3] and by February 2011, WebMD’s network of sites was reaching an average of 86.4 million visitors per month[4] and is the leading health portal in the United States.[3]

As of February 2014, WebMD has recorded an average of 156 million unique visitors per month and 3.17 billion page views per quarter.[5]


URAC, the largest accrediting body for health care, has accredited WebMD’s operations in everything from proper disclosures and health content to security and privacy continuously since 2001.[6]sssss


In 2013, the Chicago Tribune reported that WebMD, "has struggled with a fall in advertising revenue with pharmaceutical companies slashing marketing budgets as several blockbuster drugs go off patent." In response, WebMD was investing in changes to its site the company hopes will entice users who use its site seeking specific information to then linger on the site reviewing other material.[7]

Business model[edit]

WebMD is financed by advertising, third-party contributions and sponsorships.[8]

WebMD also offers services to physicians and private clients. For example, they publish WebMD the Magazine, a patient-directed publication distributed bimonthly to 85 percent of physician waiting rooms.[9] Medscape is a professional portal for physicians with 30 medical specialty areas and over 30 physician discussion boards. WebMD Health Services provides private health management programs and benefit decision-support portals to employers and health plans.

The WebMD Health Network operates WebMD Health and other health-related sites including: Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicine, eMedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org, Medscape Education, and other-owned WebMD sites. These sites provide similar services to those of WebMD; MedicineNet is an online media publishing company.[10] Medscape offers up-to-date information for physicians and other healthcare professionals.[11] RxList offers detailed information about pharmaceutical information on generic and name-brand drugs.[12] eMedicineHealth is a consumer site offering similar information to that of WebMD. It was first based on the site created for physicians and healthcare professionals called eMedicine.com.[13]


Allegations have been made[by whom?] that WebMD biases readers towards using drugs sold by their pharmaceutical sponsors in cases in which the drug is unnecessary.[14]


  1. ^ a b "WebMD Names David J. Schlanger as CEO,", August 12, 2013
  2. ^ "More turn to Internet for medical advice," WWAY News Channel 3, September 7, 2007
  3. ^ a b comScore Media Metrix
  4. ^ "WebMD Announces Fourth Quarter Financial Results". Investor.shareholder.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "WebMD Announces Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results". Investor.shareholder.com. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Consumers » URAC Online Directory". URAC. January 7, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Ail, Pallavi; Venkatesan, Adithya. "WebMD CEO Redmond leaving; company reports narrower loss". y 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Some of the sponsors have influence over the content on Web.MD."Web sites for medical information,"[dead link] News and Observer, September 13, 2007
  9. ^ "WebMD Corporation Launches Print Magazine," The Write News, April 22, 2005
  10. ^ About Us - Health and Medical Information Produced by Doctors - MedicineNet.com
  11. ^ Medscape - About Us
  12. ^ RxList - The Internet Drug Index for prescription drugs and medications
  13. ^ About Us - Overview - eMedicineHealth - Consumer First Aid and Health Information
  14. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (February 4, 2011). "A Prescription for Fear". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]