MotherNature.com Aligns With Healthcare Groups

Health products provider MotherNature.com (Nasdaq: MTHR) announced today that it has formed separate partnerships with health care provider Landmark Healthcare and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).

In the deal with Landmark Healthcare, MotherNature.com’s discount vitamins, minerals, supplements and other natural products will be promoted to Landmark’s nine million members nationwide.

In the AANP deal, MotherNature.com will allow the AANP’s 650 member physicians to establish personal dispensaries on the Web site and become part of the site’s Wellness Advisor Network, an online interactive forum for patient care. The physicians can also send patients to their personal site to learn about and purchase products that they recommend.

New Imperative For Healthcare Sites

MotherNature.com, which has operated online since 1995, was one of the early entrants into the health products marketplace. In recent months, however, it has seen its space flooded by new and well-financed competitors such as PlanetRX.com, Drugstore.com, WebMD and DrKoop.com.

The market has clearly taken notice of this crowding. The Concord Farms, Massachusetts-based MotherNature.com went public on December 10, 1999 to a relatively chilly reception from investors. The stock opened at $10 (US$) per share and has languished in the $9 to $10 range in its first month of trading.

Because of its strong impending online competition, the two deals that MotherNature.com cut are early indications of a trend that observers will likely see as online companies try to expand their reach via marketing partnerships, as well as by advertising and other traditional promotional means.

“These alliances are an important first step in the development of new sales channels for MotherNature.com,” said Michael Barach, president and CEO of MotherNature.com. “The two partnerships are structured quite differently, but they are both excellent examples of how MotherNature.com can partner with healthcare organizations and practitioners.”

Natural Deal For Landmark Healthcare

Landmark Healthcare provides complementary alternative medicine (CAM) programs for four million members nationwide that are delivered through managed care and other benefit programs. An additional five million members are enrolled in Landmark’s discount programs for acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy and nutritional supplements.

Landmark Healthcare will promote MotherNature.com to its members as a source for discount vitamins, minerals, supplements and other natural products. Landmark and MotherNature.com will also join together to market their services to other health plans and employer groups. For Landmark members who do not have access to the Internet, MotherNature.com will fulfill product requests by telephone or fax.

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