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PlanetRx Named as AOL's Premier Pharmacy Partner

Patricia Fusco
InternetNews.com Correspondent

America Online Inc. and PlanetRx Inc. Wednesday formed a new multi-year e-commerce and marketing alliance that will net AOL $15 million.

According to the terms of the agreement, AOL will receive payments from PlanetRx totaling $15 million over the next three years. In return, PlanetRx will be featured as the premier online pharmacy in AOL's Health and Women's Channels. PlanetRx will also be the only online pharmacy contextually integrated throughout AOL's Health Channel.

PlanetRx will offer consumers the ability to order prescribed medications online. Additionally, the PlanetRx web site will offer shopping services for health and beauty products, vitamins, over-the-counter medications and other health-related products.

"The explosion of electronic commerce has been driven by a growing demand for easier, more convenient ways to shop for the products consumers purchase everyday," said Barry Schuler, president of AOL Interactive Services.

"Being able to fill prescriptions and shop for personal health care products online is not only a natural extension of the e-commerce marketplace, it's a convenient solution for AOL members and visitors to our Web-based brands who want to more efficiently use the time it takes to make trips to the pharmacy."

Bill Razzouk, chairman and chief executive officer of PlanetRx, said the relationship will empower people to take charge of their health.

"For a business like PlanetRx that services mass market-oriented online consumers, the AOL family of brands is an extremely important strategic partner."

PlanetRx plans to employ secure encryption technology to ensure the safety and privacy of its customers' medical and billing information. PlanetRx online services operate under the same strict confidentiality guidelines as regular pharmacies. PlanetRx believes that consumers will manage their health care efficiently through the convenience of a one-stop Web site providing the latest medical information and professional advice.