The Health of HealthCare Stocks

Dr. Michael DorauschWhat is going on in the internet healthcare arena? During the past year we have heard and seen articles, news broadcasts, commercials, and numerous advertisements from companies such as Healtheon/WebMD, PlanetRX,, and others.

These multi-billion dollar “health care” companies have been backed by major players such as Microsoft, and America Online, as well as several others.

What does the following tell us about the state of internet delivered healthcare information today? Let’s take a look:

May 20, 1999 — Healtheon shares jump on WebMD deal
“Shares of Healtheon soared more than 20 percent today as the company confirmed a long-anticipated merger with privately held WebMD and vowed to use an infusion of new investments to build the biggest site devoted to healthcare on the Web.”
Source: CNET

According to the article, shares on that day closed at $100.62 per share which valued the combined estimated worth at $9.84 billion.

Where is Healtheon/WebMD today?
A recent CNET headline read “Stock woes force Healtheon to revise merger deal” and upon checking, shares have gone from a 52-Week High of $75.18 to today’s price of $12.25 per share.

October 7, 1999 — PlanetRx shares surge on trading debut
“ enjoyed success today as investors boosted the online drugstore’s shares 63 percent after its $16-per-share initial public offering.”
Source: CNET

Where is PlanetRX today?
A recent CNET headline read “Ailing has laid off 70 workers as part of a cost-cutting measure, the company confirmed today.”

PlanetRX which has had a 52-Week High of $36.50 is today trading at $0.88 per share.

July 28, 1999 — soars in trading debut
“ more than doubled in its first day as investors snapped up shares in an online pharmacy backed by some of the best-known names on the Web.”
Source: Bloomberg News

According to the article, the company’s shares rose in a single day to $50.25 per share and the company ended the day valued at $2.13 billion.

Upon checking, has seen it’s shares go from a 52-Week High of $67.5 to today’s price of $5.69 per share.

Finally there is
July 6, 1999 — Drkoop, AOL ink $89 million content deal
“, the health information Web site cofounded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, and America Online today announced a four-year, $89 million alliance in which will provide health information services to AOL’s sites.”
Source: CNET

Where is today?
A recent CNET headlines read “Embattled Internet health company said it has laid off about 35 percent of its staff since the beginning of April, and analysts said the cuts have made the company an attractive takeover target.”

Since going public, Drkoop.Com Inc. has gone from over $44.00 per share and is trading today at about $0.88 per share.

Reading terms such as “embattled”, “ailing”, and “stock woes”, one may think that gathering healthcare related information on the internet is just not happening. But then also from CNET, a headline from August 7, 2000 (today) reads, “Consider it a sign of the times: More consumers use the Internet to search for health care information than they do to search for pornography.”

So why are companies that had billion dollar funding and are backed by some of the biggest players on the internet in the positions they are in today?

One could easily argue that running an online healthcare related site is just not as easy as one may have previously thought and I would agree, but billion’s of dollars?

Had these company representatives and investors listened to Dr. Ian Grassam’s speech made in 1997 regarding medicine and the internet, they may have heard the following:

“The medical paradigm is collapsing on itself. It is collapsing under the pressure of it’s own failure. It does not supply people with what they need, especially an enlightened society.”

In his speech that day Ian went on to say that:

“Medicine cannot stand the light of information. Organized medicine as you and I know it cannot stand the light of the information age. Medicine and the way it is practiced and the way it is portrayed everyday is on it’s way out as we speak.”

“If for one fleeting moment all of a sudden the hearts and minds of people understood what we understand, how would you sell drugs? You couldn’t.”

“So ignorance must be part of the medical paradigm, darkness must be part of the medical paradigm, and lies must be part of the medical paradigm, and in the information age those three things will not last.”

Thank you Ian for your wisdom and inspiration.

Invest in your health, invest in chiropractic! @ 3:24 pm | Article ID: 965687064