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PlanetRx teams with medical devices maker

The online pharmacy and ePhysician enter into an agreement that gives medical professionals the ability to order prescriptions directly from wireless devices.

PlanetRx.com and ePhysician entered into an agreement today that gives medical professionals the ability to order prescriptions directly from wireless devices, the companies said.

Under terms of the deal, online drugstore PlanetRx can receive prescription orders directly from health care professionals that use ePhysician's handheld devices. Instead of writing a prescription, which can often be illegible, physicians can place requests for medications through a Palm-based handheld device. Patients then receive their prescriptions through the mail, skipping a trip to the pharmacy.

The move extends PlanetRx's recent efforts in the wireless market. Last month, the online drugstore started selling handheld devices that let shoppers scan the barcodes of household goods to speed the checkout process online.

ePhysician, founded in 1998 and backed by Benchmark Capital, makes a handheld medical device based on the Palm operating system that lets health care professionals prescribe medication, schedule patients and access medical information through the Internet.

"This latest alliance with PlanetRx.com is just one more innovative way that physicians and patients can use the Internet to achieve and maintain good health," said Stuart Weisman, president of ePhysician.

ePhysician said that prescriptions sent through its wireless devices are private and secure. PlanetRx.com, based in South San Francisco, Calif., will pay ePhysician a commission on each prescription order it receives.