Epocrates is the premier PDA-based medical software, extremely popular with doctors because the basic version is free. Of course, in a world of no free lunches, Epocrates comes with its own price, namely various drug ads offered in the guise of "doc alert" messages. All in all, not a bad product, and I gave it a pretty good review in this past article in The Carlat Psychiatry Report.
Now that Apple has opened up the iPhone software to third party developers, Epocrates has created an iPhone version. Unfortunately, Epocrates' CEO, in a recent interview with Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine, has tilted the company's hand, and it's all about pharmaceutical CME/advertising. To quote from the article:
"It's getting harder for sales reps to meet with doctors, and we provide a tool to establish a relationship with a physician and deliver messaging," Kirk Loevner, chairman and CEO of Epocrates, told Pharm Exec on Monday. Programs such as Doc Alerts transmit key pharma studies or journal articles straight to a physician's device. With the iPhone, pharma companies can also create richer mobile continuing-ed programs, including video and graphics branded with pharma messaging.
The company's inspiration, Socrates, once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I'm sure he would have had some wise counsel for Kirk Loevner, new champion of pharma messaging.