Nigeria has a long-standing battle with counterfeit drugs. According to research conducted in 2002 by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), roughly 41% of medications sold in the country were fakes.
After twenty years, the quality of over seventy per cent of the medical drugs currently being dispensed in Nigeria is below par. According to research conducted in 2002 by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), nearly 41% of pharmaceuticals that were sold in the country were fakes. People in Nigeria lose faith in their nation’s healthcare system due to the proliferation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, which also undermines the local pharmaceutical industry, makes it more difficult to treat diseases, and kills people.
Even though the federal government has made efforts to find a solution to this issue, the pharmaceutical industry desperately needs additional solutions. Remedial Health was established in 2021 by Samuel Okwuada and Victor Benjamin. The company provides digital procurement and PMR (patient medication records) platforms, which make it simpler for local pharmacies, PPMVs, and hospitals to obtain economic and authentic retail pharmaceuticals.
Through Remedial Health’s logistics network, healthcare providers can find medications that have been checked out and get them in 24 hours. The Start-up also has pharmacies. Additionally, the company grants credit to PPMVs and pharmacies to fund the acquisition of inventory and offers loans and salary advances to its staff members.
Okwuada credits the startup’s rapid growth to the fact that Remedial Health is funded by Y-Combinator (YC), which is an incubator for other startup businesses. As a result of the shutdown caused by COVID-19, hospitals that required medications were unable to get them because the marketplaces were closed.
During a call with TechCabal, Okwuada, the CEO of Remedial Health, explained that the demand for medicine that he saw during COVID while working as an importer of pharmaceuticals in Nigeria was the inspiration behind the establishment of the company. Okwuada says that Remedial Health has sold 50 million medicine packs since its business began.
He also said that it was hard for the startup to reach this goal because they had to build the infrastructure they use and are working in a field that doesn’t have set rules.
Because of its access to credit facilities, the startup risks incurring high rates of impairment charges, which are a problem for Nigeria’s financial institutions.
Okwuada told TechCabal when questioned about Remedial Health’s intentions for minimizing this risk, that the startup’s inventory financing approach, together with the fact that it operates in the B2B market, has enabled it to reach a repayment rate of 97.5%.
He went on to say that Remedial Health enters into a contract with its clients that gives it the right to reclaim products up to the value of the amount that is owed, although the company has never been required to exercise this right.
The firm has now raised a total of $4.4 million in seed funding in order to hasten its expansion across the entirety of Nigeria and to make it possible for neighbourhood pharmacies, proprietary patent medicine vendors (PPMVs), and hospitals located within the nation to gain access to credit for the purpose of making inventory purchases.
In a press release about the raise, Okwuada said, “Neighborhood pharmacies and PPMVs have the potential to be the face of a thriving healthcare system in Africa, and we believe that technology can play a big part in making this vision a reality. At the beginning of the year, it was only in six states. Now, it is in sixteen states, but it wants to grow across the country and into East and West Africa by 2023.
In a press release about the raise, Okwuada said, “Neighborhood pharmacies and PPMVs have the potential to be the face of a thriving healthcare system in Africa.”We think that technology can help make this vision a reality in a big way, and this is something we want to see happen.
We will be able to deliver the solutions to various challenges that have hampered the growth of these businesses for many years because of the funds we have raised and the strategic support our investors have given us. This will make it easier to protect lives and livelihoods across the continent for years to come.
Global Ventures led the seed investment round, having previously invested in the prior round. Tencent, Y Combinator, Cathexis Ventures, LightSpeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, Ventures Platform, Alumni Ventures, and True Capital Management were some of the other investors. There were also participations from angel investors such as Guillaume Luccisano and Christopher Golda in the fund.
Okwuada stated that Remedial Health employed these three criteria to sort potential investors in their seed round, which had a larger number of applicants than spots available. The criteria considered were:
- The investors’ reach.
- Their interest is in Africa (42% of global counterfeit medication seizures are made in Africa).
- Their interest in social impact.