The United Nations (UN) estimates around 1.6 Million people die annually in Africa due to lack of access to health care services or adequate medicine. A large number are primarily due to lack of access to nearby pharmacies with quality and original medicines. This situation prompted Abimbola Adebakin and her team to aggregate pharmacies under one platform which connects the patients who need medicine with the right pharmacy and have the drugs in a timely manner. Her ambition is to eradicate death due to lack of timely access to the right medicine starting with Nigeria and then Africa through their company Advantage Health Africa.
TIAS School for Business and Society
For Abimbola Adebakin the Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Health Africa a start up in the Nigerian health care industry whose vision is to foster the largest collaborations of health care services organizations in Africa, there have been very many high points. The company makes drugs available to patients nationwide including those living in very remote regions by aggregating pharmacies and drug stores on a web platform called mymedicine.com and providing last mile delivery services within the 774 local government areas. This delivery service is possible due to a rare collaboration with the Nigerian Postal Service, a government owned parastatal that provides mail logistics services nationwide. Advantage Health’s value proposition is dual, access and affordability of medicare. In a continent where the World Health Organization has stated that one in ten drugs are considered fake or substandard, access to quality drugs is a huge challenge. Being nominated by the African Innovation Service (AIS) as a top innovator in Africa in 2018 was a definite high especially for a young start up that had just started its operations in 2017. However for Abimbola it was the fact that she was able to attract a young and dynamic team of pharmacists and developers who were willing to work on their idea with little or no remuneration at the outset that was defining. The company got endorsed recently by Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) during the launch of mypharmacy.com. This action by three main regulatory agencies is a testament to the values they see in their business.
“I was a bit uncomfortable with the silo mentality we had in healthcare. Healthcare is so vital for the well-being of anyone we were sub-optimal the longer we remained in silos and the people who suffer are really the human beings around us including us”…Abimbola Adebakin
This discomfort propelled Abimbola in 2015 to aggregate a group of 55 pharmacies to do group purchasing of drugs. However by 2017 and seeing a business opportunity within the B2B market and the B2C market whilst leveraging on platform technology Advantage Health launched mymedcine.com to make quality medicine available to a wider market and customer segments.
My medicine.com currently services up to 3000 clients per month whilst mypharmacies.com has 45 partner franchise pharmacies, a notable feat in a country where the largest pharmaceutical retail chain has 75 stores nationwide.
Through their ever expanding network of pharmacies, Mypharmacy aims to benefit drug retail in quantity and quality. Improvement in quality will come from the feedback gathered from customers. The consolidation of data will also bring efficiency in drug delivery and lower lead times in constraint points of customer services.
Collaboration with third parties is also essential to capitalize the network effect and improve the speed of delivery of the medicine. In this way, mypharmacy benefits the current businesses such as pharmacies scattered all around the country by linking them with new customers and keeping them loyal within the platform.
In other cases, collaboration with the national postal delivery system also increases the traffic of drug delivery which can reduce the delivery cost whilst leveraging a wide country wide network.
We can estimate that through their delivery data, 3,000 happy customers per month are being helped to get the right medicine in a timely manner.
They’re also enabling over 50 pharmacy retail networks in Nigeria alone to sit together and collaborate tackling the same issues as fake drugs and building customer trusts by centralizing in one platform and rating system.
Furthermore, they also now provide trainings for pharmacists within their franchise network in the realm of customer services and financial procurement techniques and continue to innovate through partnership with IT companies, education and financial institutions. In this way, they ensure the sustainability of their business through innovation for the good of society.
Abimbola Adebakin, Chief Execuitve Officer
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Lagos, Lagos, NG
Business Website: AdvantageHealthAfrica.com
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
Advantage Health Africa delivers high quality medicine to all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. By aggregating reputable pharmacies across Nigeria, customers are able to ensure they are buying quality and affordable medine in a country ravaged by the high prevalence of adulterated drugs helping to save lives and guarantee quality.