WebMD acquires Jobson to bolster content for pharmacists, eye health practicioners

By Jonah Comstock
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Internet Brands subsidiary WebMD, which also oversees the Medscape brand of physician-facing mobile and web-based educational content, has acquired Jobson Healthcare Information, another healthcare content group, for an undisclosed amount.

"We were very excited about Jobson’s commitment to communicating with healthcare professionals, a commitment that we share as well," WebMD CEO Steve Zatz told MobiHealthNews. "They are particularly strong with audiences like pharmacists and eye care professionals and also have strengths with physicians and nurses. We thought their commitment to quality and their focus on serving the information needs of their audiences was quite similar and compatible with the approach we have at Medscape."

Jobson has between 250 and 500 employees according to Crunchbase. Like WebMD, it is headquartered in New York but with offices around the country. It will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, although the company is looking into consolidating offices where it makes sense, according to Zatz.

The major goal of the acquisition is to bolster Medscape's content across the board, but especially content for pharmacists and eye care professionals, including optometrists and ophthalmologists.

"There are several audiences where we think they’re going to strengthen programs and information that we already provide," Zatz said. "For example with pharmacists, they have really excellent content and a longstanding experience in creating relevant information and educational programs for that audience. While we have some experience in that area as well, the combination really deepens our reach and deepens our capabilities to reach that particular segment of the healthcare professional audience that we think is important. Similarly with optometrists and ophthalmologists, they have a lot of experience delivering information to those healthcare professionals. Those are also audiences we reach, but they’re going to expand the audience as well as provide us with additional content that we don’t have today."

Jobson's brands, which include online and print publications, are 20/20 Magazine, /alert Marketing, Frames Data Inc., ICPME, Jobson Interactive, Jobson Research, LabTalk, Optometric Physician, Power-Pak (PHE), Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, Practice Advancement, Review of Optometry, Review of Ophthalmology, US Pharmacist, and Vision Monday. Zatz says the plan is to keep many of those brands alive, in addition to tapping them for content for Medscape.

WebMD has made a number of acquisitions over the years including Therasim, Avado, and, of course, Medscape itself way back in 2001. WebMD was acquired by Internet Brands about a year ago for $2.8 billion.