TODAY -

How mPharma is revolutioning access to medicine in Africa?

Anand Laishram *



This week we will be learning about mPharma, a revolutionary company that is making medicines affordable and accessible for patients in multiple African countries. mPharma has received the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and has been listed as among the most innovative companies in the world. It seeks to address the problems of medicine shortage and unaffordability.

Medicines account for 20-60 percent of total spending on healthcare in lower to middle income countries. 90 percent of this paid for out of pocket, which makes it difficult for many patients in purchasing the medicines they require.

Exacerbating this is the fact that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer are on the rise in Africa. These diseases require patients to be put on drug courses, meaning they need to purchase medicines for a certain period of time as a part of the treatment process. Supply chain problems further add to the difficulties patients face.

Middlemen pad the prices, increasing the margin by a significant percentage. Patients in Africa may pay 3 times as much as what patients in Western countries pay, for the same medicines. Inefficiency in the healthcare delivery system is another major issue. Doctors still mostly rely on writing prescriptions on papers. They also have to make phone calls to pharmacies, to find out where the desired medicine may be available.

Pharmacies often are out of stock for various important medicines. Patients not only have to spend a significant percentage of their incomes on medicines (and in many cases, they aren’t able to afford the full course of medication), but they may also have to spend a lot of time searching for pharmacies which stock the particular medicine they seek.

They also have to deal with medicine shortages. All these factors work together to make life very hard for patients. mPharma seeks to solve these issues by leveraging technology and data.

Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Gregory Rockson, a Ghana native, mPharma’s vision is to ensure that medicines are made accessible and affordable for everyone in Africa. mPharma seeks to address the issues faced by all the stakeholders (patients, doctors, pharmacies, manufacturers, governments) through their multiple offerings.

First, it has created a network which includes over hundreds of pharmacies and hospitals. mPharma buys medicines on the behalf of its network, in bulk, from manufacturers, at discounted rates. Since mPharma can aggregate the demand and place orders on the behalf of its network of pharmacies and hospitals, they are able to negotiate for greater price reductions, than if the pharmacies and hospitals had to negotiate with the manufacturers individually.

The savings are passed on to the pharmacies and ultimately to the patients. mPharma stocks the shelves of the pharmacies in its network. Pharmacies are supplied with the drugs they need, thereby helping them avoid inventory costs.

mPharma analyses the data from its network of pharmacies, in order to understand their demand patterns, which helps mPharma in distributing the medicines efficiently, according to demand.

Second, mPharma has created intelligent product offerings to serve the needs of its stakeholders. For the doctors, they offer mClinic. And for the pharmacists, they offer mPharmacy. Doctors are able to provide prescriptions to patients electronically. Through mClinic, doctors can check in real-time which pharmacy in the mPharma network carries the particular medicines they want to prescribe the patients.

Doctors can check the drug availability of the pharmacies which are members of the network and send the patients to a particular pharmacy, which will be adequately stocked. Through mPharmacy, the pharmacy also receives the prescription code for the patient, from the doctor. This way they can send a confirmation to the doctor, when the patient has picked up the prescribed medicines.

mPharma’sofferings also allow for instant communication and messaging, among the doctors, the pharmacies and the patients, through a chat function. The doctors can also keep track of the patients’ information and prescription history through mClinic. In the case of the pharmacists,mPharmacy allows them to place automated purchase orders when a particular medicine is running low.

mPharma then buys the medicines from manufacturers and distributes them to the pharmacy. mPharma’s mClinic and mPharmacy offerings make it seamless and easy for doctors and pharmacists to ensure that the patients get the medicines they want.

For the manufacturers, mPharma’s data collection allows them to understand the demand on a deeper level, thus allowing them to meet the demand for accurately, avoiding overstocking or understocking a particular medicine. They can track the places where the demand outpaces the supply (and vice versa).

mPharma also uses the data collected from its network, to develop disease prevalence profiles for particular regions, neighbourhoods and demographic groups, which are of immense value for the Health Ministry of the particular country. This wouldn’t have been possible if mPharma didn’t analyze the aggregated data from its network of pharmacies and hospitals.

For the end patients, mPharma has the Mutti easy payment system. Mutti allows patients to pay for their full medication course in instalments, rather than pay for the entire course up front. Patients can get their Mutti cards for free and they can also access the Mutti digital wallet.

In many cases, since patients aren’t able to afford it, they only pay for a portion of the entire medication course, which renders the treatment ineffective. By allowing patients to purchase the entire course, and pay for it in instalments, rather than upfront, mPharma makes it easier for the patients to get the medicines they want and realize the full efficacy of the treatment.

Other mPharma offerings include:

- My Mutti (mymutti.com), an online e-commerce store for patients to purchase medicines.
- QualityRX, mPharma’s tech-enabled conversion franchising solution. Essentially pharmacies which opt for QualityRX get refurbished by mPharma with contemporary décor and signage. This helps the pharmacy become more positively perceived by patients and customers, which ultimately helps the pharmacy achieve higher revenues and customer satisfaction.
- Facility Insights, which helps pharmacies make better operational decisions based on data, such as product performance by month, customer retention, sales & profit records etc.
- Last Mile Delivery, which helps distributors with efficient vehicle allotment and monitoring of driver delivery patterns.
- Mutti Doctor, mPharma’s virtual doctor consultation program. Patients go to a pharmacy, that is part of the mPharma network. There they can consult with the doctor virtually, in the presence of a licensed community health nurse. With the help of an all-in-one stethoscope, otoscope, thermometer and examination camera (operated by the nurse), doctors can perform a series of medical exams remotely. The doctors can also ask the nurse to perform a series of Rapid Diagnostics Tests.

This helps the doctors and patients save a lot of time and eases a lot of pressure on the healthcare system. In Africa, where the doctor to patient ratio is highly skewed (meaning there are few doctors to attend to a large number of patients), this is of immense value.

Over 8000 virtual consultations have been performed so far. mPharma is steadily on its way to realizing its dream of an entire continent of Africa in good health.

By leveraging cutting edge technology and data analytics, mPharma has been able to solve the issues faced by multiple stakeholders in the healthcare system, with the end result that over 2 million patients have been able to buy the medicines they require at affordable prices and achieve better health outcomes.


* Anand Laishram wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 06 September 2022

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 60th Mr Manipur Bodybuilding #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Poumai Dance :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Khulang Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Medicines that save us from STI
  • Taj Mahal - The white wonder
  • World Soil Day
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Oting killing: Protracted probe imminent
  • How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Aeromycology over Kachai lemon plantation #2
  • Fostering NE-Bangladesh ties through Assam
  • Medical camp at Khongsang
  • Brighten your winter face with pumpkin
  • Stray cattle menace & food self-sufficiency
  • Accusing fingers raised by PAPPM
  • Sangai Fest: Sayol Sangai Chatkoi :: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #5: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • The unseen masks men put on
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #4
  • Christmas Carol Competition at Leimakhong
  • Sangai Fest: Thang Ta :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Chiru Dance :: Gallery
  • Sports sees no gender, Sports has no gender
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • RFYC Naupang League in Mizoram
  • MPSC is going ahead of UPSC
  • Session on Meditation & Mental Health
  • Challenges stacked up for Manipuri women
  • Antagonists of ST demand for Meiteis
  • Sangai Day 10: Closing #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 10: Crowd scene :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Will Thailand lead in antimicrobial resistance
  • Webninar @NEHU : India-Japan Relations
  • Keeping up with time :: Poem
  • World AIDS Day 2022 at Tamenglong
  • Doctor-Govt stalemate, public in peril
  • Progress of the Naga peace talk
  • Sangai Day 9: Dancing Drummers :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Aimol Dance :: Gallery
  • December Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • A flight of the Hornbill
  • Working with children as career
  • Stable situation essential for attracting tourist
  • Selling Manipur to outside world
  • Sangai Day 8: Shumang Leela :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Kom Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Innocence :: Poem
  • Foreign Secy's Myanmar visit ... Naga peace
  • Cancellation of residential proof certs
  • Derelict teachers threat to govt schools
  • Many questions, but no answers
  • Sangai Day 8: Food Stall #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 7: Vaiphei Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st & 2nd session of 12th Manipur Assembly
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #3
  • IFFI means to upscale to Manipuri Cinema
  • Continuous bid to save endangered ponies
  • Arguments over ST : Meiteis are indigenes
  • Sangai Day 6: Elowe: Dzuko Valley :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 5: Khunung Eshei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Alligator weed: Indigenous fodder resource
  • Two lives :: Poem
  • People don't actually care !!
  • The beauty in tea
  • Healthy response to Sangai Fest
  • Lessons from Japanese fans at WC
  • Sangai Day 5: Fashion parade :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Thangal Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Masterclasses add value to 53rd IFFI at Goa
  • 7th Charuangc 2022 : Rongmei of Delhi-NCR
  • Miss India from Manipur
  • Startup Innovation Conclave 1.0
  • National Constitution Day at Lilong
  • Sangai Day 4: 3 Types Of Drums :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 3: Chothe Dance :: Gallery
  • Involuntary Displacement in Manipur
  • Forgotten feature Film comes alive at IFFI
  • Will we protect medicines that protect us
  • God gives us our daily bread...
  • NPF consultative meeting at Zunheboto
  • Lapses in education laid bare by student
  • Adding a new flavour to War on Drugs
  • Sangai Day 3: Polo International :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tangkhul Dance :: Gallery
  • 1st L. Keivom Memorial Day
  • Eina Khankhiba Natte : Movie Review
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Eight Meet of Astronomers concluded at MU
  • 'Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture'
  • Condemn govts of Assam & Meghalaya
  • Corruption-free Manipur resolve under scrutiny
  • Asia at the World Cup
  • Sangai Day 2: Khutpak Chatkoi #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 2: Tarao Dance :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Screening of Manipuri films at IFFI
  • Nagaland Govt has no economic policy: NPF
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #2
  • Reinvent Northeast - Dimapur launched
  • Uneasy calm in northeast as border rows rage
  • FIFAWC and Sangai Festival : Splendid recipe
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Pune :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakouba organized at Pune
  • Free mega health camp at Nagamapal
  • Outlaw glyphosate and its derivatives
  • Creators Meet of Tripura at Agartala
  • No respite from drug and tobacco threats
  • Manipur: Fountainhead of drugs ?
  • Sangai Day 1: Laihui Folk Music #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Day 1: Opening ceremony :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Copa Manipur at Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • South Asia's film market features Manipur
  • ST Demand: Decided by merits; not by poll
  • Ecotoxicology- needed to save living beings
  • 'Look East policy into Act East Policy'
  • Tourism promotional fest litmus test for state
  • Sangai & Pony, the twin face of Manipur
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Activities List
  • The Dream Kangleipak :: Book Review
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 53rd IFFI featuring Manipuri Cinema kicks off
  • World Toilet Day 2022
  • Pulicat Lagoon, Flamingos' haven
  • Amid substance abuse, thrust on open gym
  • FIFA World Cup 2022
  • 1st CM's Sagol Kangjei C'ship :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest as a way to Look East Policy
  • 1st Chief Minister's Sagol Kangjei C'ship
  • Organic seed production- Issue & strategy #1
  • For PM Modi, G20 has come at the right time
  • Rock band Arogya releases latest single
  • Community Ningol Chakouba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Out of the heart comes the issues of life
  • NE Startup Showcase @ Manipur Tech Hub
  • Immortal Gallows :: Poem
  • Workshop on Amrita Meditation at RGU ArP
  • Skin Pigmentation in Winter
  • Influx issue headache for all indigenes
  • Wanted: Visionary leaders :: Follies of past
  • The changing idioms of Manipuri theatre
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • DFC Shillong launched with Model workshop
  • Antimicrobial resistance... to reverse progress
  • 2nd North East Olympic Games closes
  • Unending quota system & National excellence
  • Solar energy can help India achieve net-zero
  • Sangai Festival as launch pad for tourism
  • All eyes on Qatar
  • Manipur Journalist Awards #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Delegates for IFFI, Goa
  • Intellectual Class- First Line of Defense
  • Who are ST in true spirit of Constitution
  • Journalism is a public good ...
  • Vaccine transported through Drones in ArP
  • Mass tree felling depreciates existence...
  • ST demand : Let Delhi have the say
  • 5th Kwatha Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • This Eleventh Edition of Sangai Festival
  • The garden of Kew #2
  • NE International Fashion Week 2022
  • Housing system for sow & piglets
  • Doctors grieving relentlessly, Govt silent
  • Law catching up after 21 years
  • Leima Jagoi @ Nongshaba #1 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Technology innovation Hub
  • North East BJP Karyakartas Sammelan
  • Supreme Court call for revisit of reservation
  • Rural Immersion Camp at West Kameng
  • World Diabetes Day 2022
  • Undeserving PDS rice beneficiaries
  • Leaving the doors wide open
  • On author, research & publication #3
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • MSAD : newly elected executives for 2022-23
  • 'Trust deficit' in Naga talks
  • Professor Bimola : A Life Fully Lived
  • Love's Twist :: Poem
  • Rani Gaidinliu Training Camp concluded
  • Job for all promise as unemployed rises
  • Presenting Manipur to the world
  • Manipur Fashion Extravaganza #3 :: Gallery
  • Seminar on Role of Women in Sports : Report
  • The great Asian Highway : Tokyo to Istanbul
  • Seminar : Reconstruction of Education
  • 4th National Lok Adalat for the year, 2022
  • Rishi Sunak .. is a pucca English Burra sahib
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Gift presents :: Gallery
  • Conference on Metallomics @ Manipur Univ
  • An awakening sprout in darkness :: Poem
  • Narration from a man who chase mountains
  • Jobs @ JCRE skill solutions, Thangmeiband
  • Masterclass on Social Photography kicks off
  • Training on mushroom cultivation
  • Probe into PMGSY project blot on graft-free
  • Opinion poll & quest for ST status
  • MANITEX @ Nilakuthi #1 :: Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar for 2023
  • Camping @Shirui Lily Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Aku Zeliang : Young Talent of the Year Award
  • Manipur in UN's drug cartel map...
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #3 :: Gallery
  • Application: AgriEntrepreneur across Manipur
  • Sangai Festival 2022 :: Program & Venues
  • Ningol Chakouba at Bengaluru
  • Linthoi Chanambam- Judo Player :: Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Hari-Uthang Kang Chingba :: Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #2 :: Gallery
  • Kut Festival @ Churachandpur : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural Program #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol on way to her mapam #1 :: Gallery
  • Okram Kumar : Archaeological researcher
  • Mera Houchongba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • Olympians & National awardees of Manipur
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download