I just realized that this past March was the 20th anniversary of my online pharma publishing career.

In March, 1994, I began publishing oncology drug articles on OncoLink — the Web’s First Oncology Resource established in 1994 by my friend Loren Buhle who at the time was a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Loren started the site as a personal project hosted on the UPenn Web server without official authorization from UPenn. The University trustees were blithely unaware of what he was doing until much later when they took over the site.

I should note that several pharmaceutical corporate Web sites also began as UNAUTHORIZED personal projects of lone employees. Believe it or not, GSK’s corporate website began that way. Since most senior pharma corporate executives then — and even now — did not have daily access to the WWW, GSK’s leaders did not know a GSK Web site existed!

While Loren was the “webmaster” of Oncolink, he sought out credible oncology information from a number of sources. At the time, I was employed by a ghostwriting agency that published a pharma-sponsored print newsletter called Medical Sciences Bulletin (MSB). My job was to transition the company’s content for delivery via the Internet. So, I teamed up with Oncolink to publish selected articles from the MSB newsletter on Oncolink.

Unfortunately, once UPenn took over Oncolink, only content approved by the Trustees could be published on the site. Of course, I wasn’t going to go through that lengthy process, which would defeat the whole reason for publishing timely information via the Internet. Consequently, in January 1995, I launched an independent Web site (hint: it wasn’t Pharma Marketing Network)…

The site I launched was called PharmInfoNet (see the home page screen shot from the WayBack Machine below), which published all the drug articles from MSB plus other pharma-related content.

PharmInfoNet was a “Top 20 Health Site” focused on drug information content and databases for physicians and pharmacists. PharmInfoNet pioneered many innovative, Internet-based communication programs including the Electronic Highlight Bulletin for the delivery of medical conference highlights to physicians via email and the Web.

I sold PharmInfoNet in 2000 and shortly afterward launched Pharma Marketing Network and Pharma Marketing News. The rest is history, as they say.

PharmInfoNet Home Page, December, 1996. Click on image for an enlarged view.