Entrepreneurship on the Rise in the Medical Supply Chain in Africa: A Tale of Four Pharmacy Disruptors

Maisha Meds: The small private start-up pharmacy management platform
Originally set up to improve diagnosis and prescribing for pharmacies in Kisumu, Kenya, Maisha Meds faced a growing demand for pharmacy management, stock keeping, and supply chain tools. Two years on, Maisha Meds offers pharmacy owners a cloud-based android app which is a point of sale (POS) system that collects procurement and patient data; it also negotiates prices with manufacturers and coordinates deliveries with distributors.

The app appeals to pharmacists because it enables easy ordering and allows them to keep tabs on their stock, which can help prevent theft. Even though a tablet is a big buy for some small pharmacies, the software has expanded across Kenya and other countries. Maisha Meds is now exploring new partnerships and additional services, such as payment subsidies for the poorest patients.

The company’s differentiator is its android-based POS system that can operate in settings with or without traditional electrical grids. Further, the data that it generates could be a game changer for global health donors and pharmaceutical companies seeking to geographically map the demand for certain products, which could provide valuable inputs for differentiating prices in different markets.