Kenya has been a host of many disruptive technologies in recent years. In fact, disruptive technologies have created thousands of jobs and raking in millions of shillings in the country as well as around the world. A few years ago, there were no digital taxis, no AirBnBand definitely no MYDAWA.
MYDAWA is an e-health platform that enables consumers to conveniently purchase authentic medicines and wellness products through the app/web portal. The country has come a long way in medicine dispensing from the over the counter to a more progressive digital acquisition of quality medicine guided by strict and solid prescription.
The Kenyan incorporated company with Irish roots has been performing well in the market with an annual turnover of USD 7.4m.
The company uses registered Pharmaceutical Technologists (Pharmtechs) to deliver medicines which is also a huge step towards reducing Medication non-adherence which is a rising epidemic where people do not take their prescriptions as directed by the doctor. The Pharmtechs will also provide further instructions and counseling on how and when to take their prescriptions.
The company has partnered with iPay, an innovative payment processing solution and payment gateway for Africa. The move is meant to scale up its service delivery in line with achieving better health outcomes through the increase of payment options for customers based on their different locations. It is expected that this will increase customer retention and loyalty thereby expanding the business.
With the partnership, MYDAWA customers pay for their prescription, health and wellness products through loyalty points, Mastercard, VISA, Bonga Points, Equitel, MPESA, Airtel money, eLipa, PesaLink and Kenswitch. The iPay Partnership also allows customers to make easy, fast and convenient online and offline payments from one account.
MYDAWA has become the first online pharmacy in Africa to earn the LegitScript certification that verifies internet operated pharmacies as safe, credible and trustworthy. In the whole world, MYDAWA is part of the top 4 percent globally verified by LegitScript.
A LegitScript certification is a stamp of approval to online pharmacies and other healthcare companies, addiction treatment centres and eye-wear merchants globally that they are operating fully within the laws and regulations.
It is a verification and monitoring service that maintains the world’s largest comprehensive database of regulated healthcare products, organized by legitimacy and safety. Moreover, LegitScript monitors and catalogs warnings from over 100 government agencies on an on-going basis and follows regulatory developments in many countries around the world.
“This certification is a testament to our team’s hard work and our commitment to improving access and affordability of quality and safe medicines and other healthcare products with the aim of achieving better healthcare outcomes,” said MYDAWA’s Managing Director, Tony Wood.
“MYDAWA has always been diligent about its quality management systems and the certification reflects our continuous efforts to ensure a customer-centric approach that puts the customer at the heart of all our operations.”
The recognition of MYDAWA is not a small fete. A 2016 report by the Association of Online Pharmacies (ASOP) Global Foundation revealed that only 96% of the 35,000+ global online pharmacies operate within the required laws and regulations.
These numbers have since almost doubled partly because of the rising cost of healthcare and especially prescription medicines both in locally and internationally that forces people to look for other options mostly online. However, buying medicines from unsafe sources can be deadly and cost even much more.
According to ASOP, drugs sold by illegal online sellers are often counterfeit, containing too much, too little, or no active ingredients. Even worse, these fakes may be made using toxic substances, like fentanyl, floor wax, mercury, concrete, road tar, paint thinner, anti-freeze and other poisons – contributing to up to one million deaths worldwide each year. Buying from illegal online pharmacies also increases the risk of credit card and identity theft.
LegitScript is endorsed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), in the USA. Many of the world’s leading companies such as Facebook, Google, Visa, and Master Card require and recognize LegitScript Certification. In addition, some EU government agencies have referred to LegitScript as the “appropriate authority.”
The Chairman and Founder of the e-health platform Mr. Neil O’Leary commented on the certification saying, “LegitScript Certification solidifies MYDAWA’s e-health experience as an instrumental brand in delivering good healthcare practices in Kenya”
MYDAWA attained the certification after a rigorous process that began in December 2018, receiving final approval on 16th May 2019. In 2018, MYDAWA achieved another first when the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) granted its parent firm ION Kenya; that operates the MYDAWA brand, the first-ever Retail License for an e-retailing pharmacy in Kenya. The company also recently secured a $3million funding from Africa Healthcare Master Fund to fuel its expansion in the country.
Recently, the company also partnered with Sanlam General Insurance to further scale the efforts of achieving better health outcomes for all. This partnership with Sanlam Insurance clearly demonstrates that the cost reductions brought about by technology innovation can also benefit the wider industry through the reduction in fraud.
It is estimated that huge savings of up to 46% on an outpatient cover can be achieved by the Insurance companies through the reduced cost, fraud reduction and operational efficiencies gained from the solution. This can be replicated across the industry both for private health insurers and for Government schemes such as the NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund).