WebMD Corporation, one of the first US e-health firms to rise to prominence during the dotcom boom, has acquired the portal assets of rival MedicaLogic/Medscape, Inc., in a $10 million cash deal to expand services to physicians and other medical professionals.

The deal covers the Medscape Medical Professional and Medscape Health for Consumers portals.

Medscape’s Medical Professional portal will become the WebMD’s online brand of information, research and educational services for physicians and allied medical professionals. WebMD Health(SM) will continue as the Company’s brand of online information, community and services for consumers.

With the addition of the Medscape assets, WebMD says its newly expanded WebMD Medscape Health Network will reach more than 15 million cumulative monthly visitors, including approximately 575,000 members registered as physicians worldwide.

"This acquisition is a great opportunity to further strengthen our product offering for physicians and is in keeping with our goal of creating the leading communication channels connecting physicians and their patients with health plans, providers and suppliers," said Martin Wygod, Chairman and CEO of WebMD.

WebMD says it plans to integrate the Medscape Medical Professional portal into its suite of professional products and services.

The Medscape services will become part of the integrated portal offering of the Medical Manager, the physician practice management software, used by more than 185,000 physicians, and into WebMD Envoy, a provider of electronic transaction services, used by more than 300,000 physicians.

"When consumers or medical professionals look for information online, they seek objective, credible and trustworthy sources for that information. The Medscape editorial team brings a longstanding track record for the highest quality medical journalism," said Roger Holstein, CEO of WebMD Health.

WebMD lost $19.5 million, before exceptional items in the third quarter of 2001, with predicted revenues of $167 for the fourth quarter. Also included in the company’s third-quarter results was a charge of $3.8 billion, related to ‘goodwill impairment’.