Who Was Epocrates?

Friday’s New York Times featured a piece on a free smartphone app called Epocrates that lets doctors “look up information on drug dosing, interactions and insurance coverage while seeing a patient.”

Ads included.

But like so much else on the Web, “free” comes with a price: doctors must wade through marketing messages on Epocrates that try to sway their choices of which drugs to prescribe.

The article points out that “[d]octors exposed to drug company information often prescribe more often, at a higher cost and with less quality,” but it never says who Epocrates was.

Turns out he was nobody.

From the corporate website:

Named after the Greek physician Hippocrates, Epocrates squeezes the contents of the Physicians’ Desk Reference into a 4-ounce mobile computer, giving doctors access to information about more than 1,500 commonly prescribed medications.

Epocrates, we hardly knew thee.

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