Drkoop.com Meets Its Demise

Drkoop.com died this weekend following a protracted illness. It was 3 years old.

The long-suffering online health provider said that it would declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cease operations and liquidate its assets. Drkoop, whose stock once soared to $45 a share, was selling at less than 1 cent per share yesterday as it prepared to follow so many of its dot-com brethren into oblivion.

“The company's efforts to obtain additional financing and sell certain of its assets have not been successful, and the company's present financial condition precludes it from meeting operating obligations necessary to operate as a going concern,” the company said in a statement. “The company believes it is in the best interest of its creditors and stockholders to effectuate an orderly liquidation of the company's assets through a chapter seven bankruptcy proceeding.”

Stockholders are not expected to receive any money from the liquidation of Drkoop assets, the company said. Money will be used to pay creditors, and a trustee will be appointed to handle Drkoop's affairs through the proceedings.

The statement did not stipulate when the Drkoop Web site would cease operations. It was still functioning yesterday afternoon.

Drkoop was born in 1998 with the backing of C. Everett Koop, former U.S. surgeon general and the company's namesake. It enjoyed early success and once counted about 1.2 million registered users but fell on hard times by August 2000, when it cut its staff by one-third.

By January 2001, Drkoop had cut its monthly operating expenses to $1 million, down from $8 million in March 2000. Yet the company needed a cash infusion of $20 million from investors in August to stay afloat.

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