Small clinics and pharmacies in the region that miss out on large discounts and benefits of scale that manufacturers pass to dealers will now be able to enjoy lower cost per unit for their medicine stock following implementation of a private sector pooled procurement mechanism for registered pharmacist. This is expected to results lower cost of medicare for many across the reach of this project in Kenya and Rwanda.
“By pooling orders from many pharmacies via an online platform and working directly with manufacturers, we successfully eliminate middlemen and significantly lower the cost of medicine stock,” said Tirus Wanyoike, co-founder of Advanced Smart Solutions (ASSL), the firm implementing the project.
(TOP: Newton Siele – right – Director of Rephas at a past event BELOW: Tirus Wanyoike, co-founder, ASSL).
The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) has supported the healthcare IT project based on its potential to positively impact healthcare in the last mile.
The GIZ agency that supports regional integration and improvement of healthcare access, known as Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA), is monitoring the project.
Additional development works on the system aim to empower pharmacists and healthcare practitioners to get accurate drugs information during administration through an Electronic Expert Support System (EESS). This is enhancing accurate dispensing and productivity through the platform accessible through a smart phone.
Rephas, a registered pharmaceuticals wholesaler regulated by the Kenya Poisons and Pharmacy Board (PPB) is running on the platform. More than 100 registered pharmacies in Kenya were on-boarded on its system and with lower costs of stock, usage of the pooled procurement platform has grown significantly since deployment, according to Director Newton Siele. “The pharmaceutical supply chain cannot ignore innovation. Pooled procurement as implemented by Rephas already presents a case study for how pharmacies will do business in the future. It has a desirable impact for businesses and cost of medical care,” said Newton Siele, Director of Rephas.
Aggregated orders on the Rephas pooled procurement system resulted in discounts of up to 25% from manufacturers in April, 2022. Other benefits recorded to date include reduced cost of last mile logistics. Rephas has now set its eyes on the Rwandan market to take advantage of the regional integration efforts being spearheaded by the East African Community (EAC).
The project is hinged on the Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Programme that seeks to improve Medicine registration systems for efficiency and the unrestricted movement of registered pharmaceutical products within the East Africa Community member states.