Ghanaian health tech startup mPharma — which works to improve access to medicines — is continuing its mission to provide innovative financing and accessibility solutions in the medical field by expanding its markets to Ethiopia, TechCrunch reports.
As one of the toughest markets to enter to date, extending mPharma’s operations to the East African country will only help the startup achieve its goal of ruling African healthcare.
The company — which was founded in 2013 by Daniel Shoukimas, Gregory Rockson and James Finucane — has established a system that specializes in vendor-managed inventory, retail pharmacy operations and market intelligence on behalf of the hospitals, pharmacies and patients it serves.
As outlined by TechCrunch, Africa’s $50 million pharmaceutical market still faces challenges such as low stock of inventory and excessive prices that make it difficult for many Africans to get ahold of the medications they need to treat their illnesses.
mPharma’s goal is to alleviate those burdens and provide reasonable resolutions that will both increase access to these medications while also lowering costs of quality products for customers.
“Our vision is an Africa that’s in good health. We will not cease until every person on the continent has access to safe and affordable medicine,” the company’s website states.
Today mPharma claims to have served over 100,000 patients on a monthly basis, while also distributing over a million drugs to Africans from 300 pharmacy partners across the continent, according to TechCrunch.
According to co-founder Rockson, much like other foreign brands, mPharma has adopted a method of franchising to aid in its expansion efforts to Africa’s second most populated nation. However, this achievement wasn’t without pushback working with other foreign companies.
“Ethiopia is one of the most closed economies on the continent,” he told TechCrunch. “This has made it a bit hard for other startups to launch there just because the government rarely allows foreign investments in the retail sector.”
Rockson also shares that the company has entered a partnership with Belayab Pharmaceuticals through its subsidiary, Haltons Limited, that will help open two new pharmacies in Addis Ababa later this year.
As an extension of mPharma, each pharmacy will provide consumers with benefits through a loyalty program called Mutti, which will offer discounts and financing options to access medications.
Overall, mPharma has become one of the most well-funded healthtech startups in Africa raising over $50 million to support the company’s mission. Now as it expands into new markets, it sets its sights on innovating Africa’s healthcare infrastructure for the rest of the continent.
For more information about mPharma, visit its website.