Since 2013, the startup mPharma has been trying to build an infrastructure and a drug-monitoring system to connect patients, hospitals and pharmacies. The objective is to enable doctors to know the exact location and availability of medicines in real time, and patients to have better access to medicines. One of the greatest modern day success stories in global health has been the reduction in the yearly price of branded HIV/AIDS drug prices from a high of US$10,439 in 2000 to $347 by 2011. During the same period, the introduction of generic drug treatments dropped a year’s worth of treatment to about $61. With financial support from organisations like the Global Fund, PEPFAR and the Clinton Foundation, more than five million patients in sub-Saharan were on treatment by 2011.
While a lot more work needs to be done to ensure that 100% of HIV/AIDS patients in Africa get on treatment, the achievement thus far has been nothing short of spectacular and highly commendable. At mPharma, we are inspired by this story everyday. It shows that when different stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem come together with a singular vision, miracles can be created. We are using the lessons learned from this achievement to re-imagine how pharmaceuticals are procured, prescribed and dispensed in Africa.
What is mPharma?
mPharma is a prescription drug manager for providers and payers in Africa. We manage the drug inventory for providers and design drug benefits plan for payers. mPharma currently operates in three African countries (Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia), serving close to 20,000 patients each month across a network of over 70 hospitals and clinics in Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt, Benin, Aba, Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Lusaka and Ndola. mPharma aims to build the data intelligence and retail layer to support the future of African healthcare.