Founded in 2017 by Vivian Nwakah (pictured above), Medsaf is a controlled pharmaceutical ecosystem designed to promote and fund the flow of drugs across complicated supply chains after she had a friend die from taking fake medication. It directly links vendors to hospitals and pharmacies.
The startup is taking on the herculean task of combating fake drugs in Nigeria.
“The lack of proper supply chain infrastructure drives health care stakeholders to the open drug markets to find their medications and consumables. The gap in the market was that there was no entity properly addressing the motivating factors for the state of the pharmaceutical industry. Issues around how all players in the supply chain interact with each other and the reasons why there are severe lapses within the pharmaceutical supply chain,” Nwakah told Disrupt Africa.
“I realised early on that there needed to be a platform to reduce the friction between stakeholders and influence and reward positive behaviours in a sustainable way.”
Medsaf disclosed that on a monthly recurring basis, 160 hospitals and pharmacies buy drugs from its platform, while it has over 100 supplier agreements and partnerships with the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms.
“We were early in the space as it pertains to Nigeria. We have been able to build a brand that means trust and quality. This brand is why during lockdown we were able to expand to seven states without leaving our living rooms,” said Nwakah.
“In the beginning we had to build the market and sensitise the stakeholders to the concept. This year we are 100 per cent online with over 160 hospitals and pharmacies purchasing from us on a bi-monthly basis.”
Medsaf is now moving into the data space, a move Nwakah said from the very beginning was expected. Given the previous lack of an appropriate database that captures the real needs and demands of the medical industry in Nigeria in real-time, and the filling of that void by Medsaf, it is possible to evaluate and monetise the data it has collected so far. Medsaf has developed these processes and procedures and is able to use the data it gathers to minimize costs, improve productivity and create new revenue streams.
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