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Executive Summary

ABBOTT AND DUPONT BACKING FISHER STEVENS/GTE PHYCOM physicians communication system, which is scheduled to go on-line April 2, Fisher Stevens said at a March 27 press conference in NYC announcing the start-up. The two firms join SmithKline, Revlon, Burroughs Wellcome, Lederle, and Ayerst as the first seven subscribers to the PHYCOM system. In addition, Fisher Stevens indicated that eight other pharmaceutical firms will pay for physician use of Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) information pertaining to their respective products, but will not be paying up-front subscription fees to Fisher Stevens/GTE. As limited subscribers, DuPont and Abbott will pay annual fees of $35,000, which will entitle them to write a brief product summary for each of their products included in the system and allow them direct communication with physicians via the system's request library. Full subscribers pay $150,000 per year and receive access to the full range of the system's services, which include advertising in the system, a daily news section and patient information handouts for MDs. Ortho, Roche, Reed & Carnrick, and Beecham are among the eight firms that have agreed to pay for physician use of their PDR labeling information available in the PHYCOM system. Four other firms are expected to finalize their commitments to sponsor PDR information in the next few weeks. Reportedly, Rorer, Alza, and Glaxo are in that group. Fisher Stevens President Robert Atkins announced that "when PHYCOM goes on line nationally in early April, its data base will be supported by 15 pharmaceutical companies, and contain information on over 500 products. He noted that information on another 500 is in "approval stages," and will be included in the system by the end of April. Fisher Stevens said that it expects to have 1,000 physicians registered by the end of the first month of operation. "Our overall goal for 1984 is to have 10,000 physician users by year-end and 20 sponsoring companies," Atkins said. To date, sixteen pharmaceutical firms have decided to have their PDR product information included on the PHYCOM channel, but will not pay for physician computer-access to that product information. Physicians can choose to pay 58› per minute for access to non-sponsored PDR drug labeling, Fisher Stevens said.

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