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Drugstore.com signs AOL, Excite deals

The move comes as drugstore.com and PlanetRx get ready to duke it out for the online pharmacy market.

Online pharmacy drugstore.com, which has yet to go live, today announced distribution deals with America Online and Excite, as the competition gears up for a battle in this emerging market.

Under the terms of the America Online deal, once it is launched drugstore.com will be a featured online pharmacy in America Online's health area and a variety of other channels including travel, families, sports, and lifestyle.

The deal comes just one month after competitor PlanetRx announced a $15 million, three-year deal with AOL. PlanetRx's site is up but the company does not yet offer over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals for sale. PlanetRX will be positioned in AOL's health-related areas throughout its main site, as well as its Digital City sites.

Terms of the AOL and drugstore.com deal were not disclosed.

The Excite deal makes drugstore.com the preferred drugstore on the portal's health and shopping channels. Drugstore.com will also be integrated into Excite's men's and women's health, exercise and fitness, diet and nutrition, travel, and other areas.

In the next few weeks, drugstore.com is expected to announce a similar deal with Yahoo, said a source.

PlanetRx is expected to launch early this year, and drugstore.com by March.