Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 7 • July/August 2000
Harcourt to Be Sole Owner of MD Consult

Harcourt, Inc., the global education, training, assessment, and professional information company, has announced it has signed an agreement with publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), a Wolters Kluwer International Health & Sciences company, to acquire LWW’s one-third interest in MD Consult, a clinical-information resource for physicians. Terms of the agreement, which will make Harcourt the sole owner of MD Consult, were not disclosed.

In a separate transaction, Harcourt General sold its professional publishing business to Wolters Kluwer. The professional publishing unit had 1999 revenues of approximately $10 million and includes Miller’s Accounting Guides, in print and electronic formats: Miller GAAP Guide, Miller GAAS Guide, and Government GAAP Guide. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Now that we are sole owners of MD Consult, we look forward to ambitiously investing in and growing the range of value-added services available through MD Consult while remaining committed to providing MD Consult subscribers with access to a rich and extensive collection of publications from many different publishers,” said Peter Hoenigsberg, president of Harcourt’s Scientific, Technical and Medical Group.

MD Consult currently licenses content from more than 50 sources, including Wolters Kluwer. Under the agreement Harcourt and Wolters Kluwer will cross-license content. “In the health-sciences field, MD Consult, which now serves more than 120,000 paid subscribers, is already an Internet success story and will continue on that path as a separate unit,” Hoenigsberg said. “At the same time, it will play a key role in Harcourt’s strategy to be the world leader in scientific, technical, and medical publishing on the Web.”

Hoenigsberg indicated that Harcourt has embarked on an ambitious program to provide physicians and other healthcare professionals with specialty-specific information services through the Web across a wide range of specialties—a logical extension of the valuable MD Consult franchise. “We look forward to taking full advantage of the new opportunities that will come with ownership by Harcourt,” said Jerry Freeland, president of MD Consult. “This will enable us to rapidly grow MD Consult and provide even better service to physicians seeking immediate answers to their clinical questions.”

Based in St. Louis, MD Consult is a Web-based clinical information service that provides unlimited access to full-text clinical content from a comprehensive range of sources. Over 120,000 physicians and other health professionals access MD Consult under paid subscription plans. Each month users conduct more than 700,000 information searches on the service and view nearly 5 million pages of clinical content, primarily during daytime practice hours. The service is currently licensed by more than 350 health systems, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations, including more than 70 percent of the nation’s medical schools.

Source: Harcourt, Inc., Chestnut Hill, MA, 617/232-8200;

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