Drkoop.com Sold to Vitacost.com for $186,000
Health information Web site drkoop.com has been sold in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $186,000 to Vitacost.com, a Florida-based seller of vitamins, herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the deal, Vitacost will get the drkoop.com domain name, the site's 900,000-person subscriber list and some computer equipment. Separately, the company paid former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who founded the site in 1998, $10,000 "to secure the use of his name" to protect against any future trademark infringement lawsuits. Vitacost has agreed to post a statement on the site clearly indicating that the former surgeon general is no longer affiliated with the site. In addition, Vitacost agreed not to sell tobacco products -- "which Koop railed against" as surgeon general -- on the site (Colker, Los Angeles Times, 7/16). Users will continue to be able to access drkoop.com, which will have updated content from Vitacost (Wall Street Journal, 7/16). Drkoop.com will keep the 4,500 informational articles currently on the site, Vitacost President Allen Josephs said. Drkoop.com, which was once valued at more than $1 billion, filed for federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in December after collecting more than $5.5 million in debt, according to Doug Kappler, the company's court-appointed trustee (Los Angeles Times, 7/16). The purchase ends drkoop.com's involvement in the bankruptcy proceedings, Vitacost said. The transfer of assets will likely be completed by the end of this week (Wall Street Journal, 7/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.