Frequent stock-outs of over-the-counter and prescription medicines, key consumables, and the limited availability of medical devices represent a major impediment to the management of disease and promotion of health.
Services that minimize supply chain inefficiencies and provide critical linkages between manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, providers, and consumers, to reduce stockouts and ensure the availability of essential medicines, consumables and devices are needed.
Products must be brought as close to patients as is appropriate, to ensure easy access when the need arises:
Solutions that help bring products closer to people, through lower-level providers, solutions to bring products closer to people in rural areas and/or create digital access are needed.
There is a high prevalence of substandard, counterfeit, spurious and falsely labelled health products in African markets (42% of all counterfeit health products reported to the WHO between 2013 and 2017 were from Africa). This exposes the population to drug resistance, higher morbidity, and mortality rates, hence the need to develop innovations that enable providers and consumers to authenticate health products, track and trace the origin and movement of health products, and ensure the appropriate storage of health products to preserve their efficacy.
Private sector health supply chain channels in Africa are often highly fragmented and multi-layered, with several points between manufacturing and dispensation. Due to multiple touchpoints between manufacturing and dispensation, additional costs can account for up to 60% of the final purchase price for consumers. In addition to high prices, there is often significant variability in the prices of health products across suppliers. Solutions to reduce prices and price variability of medicines, consumables, devices, and assistive technologies are required.
Health products supply chains in Africa are characterized by significant gaps in information and knowledge across various points in the supply chain, and between patients and providers. This makes it difficult for patients to make optimal decisions as it pertains to price and quality, and for other industry players and government to forecast demand and inform policy decisions. Solutions that improve visibility into product movement, consumption and demand are important.
Appropriate management and disposal of health care waste is integral to maintain public health and preventing environmental as well as public health hazards. In Africa, proper healthcare waste management is largely an overlooked activity with regular disposal of medical and pharmaceutical waste into general waste and aquatic environments. Technology-enabled innovations to improve safe disposal and appropriate management of medical waste are needed.
14th August 2022 21st August 2022 (South Africa only)
Representative of the business must be a founder / co-founder, and at least 18 years old with a valid ID document.
Company must be owned, led or operated by an African(s). We define this as having an African national with long-term control and management of the business, an equity stake and an active role in both strategic and day-to-day decision making. Organization does not need to be headquartered in Africa.
Business must have a legal presence on the African continent.
Business offerings must be focused on serving the needs of African customers
Business must be in the early or growth stage as defined below. Nascent/idea stage companies, or mature companies (e.g. mature incumbent distribution businesses) are not be eligible.
EARLY STAGE -
You must have clearly defined your market, validated customer demand, developed a working prototype and product map, and begun to generate revenue, with a strong plan to scale and sustain growth
GROWTH STAGE -
You must have strong, well-defined revenue model, sales, and operational capabilities. Your Products and service must be primed to scale, and customer acquisition costs must be declining. You must have evidence of customer acceptance of your products (reflected in sales volumes, beyond early adopters).
Innovators must offer data-driven products or services focused on the distribution of health products, which includes over-the-counter medicines, prescription medicines, health care consumables, medical devices, assistive health technologies, and the movement of medical waste. This includes but is not limited to companies that are building data-driven approaches to health product distribution including medicines, consumables, devices, and more; cold chain technology; track-and-trace; direct-to-consumer delivery of health products; online pharmacies; digital marketplaces for product resupply; vendor-managed inventory for health products; counterfeit drug detection; waste management solutions, and more. Business lines do not need to focus solely on health product distribution to be considered. We will also consider non-health businesses with documented plans to offer data-driven products or services focused on health product distribution in the short-term (2-3 months).
Nonprofits, consultancies, intermediaries, and consortiums are not eligible.
You must show good management and governance. We are looking for efficient use of funds and a strong plan to generate further income and attract additional investments. Participants must have sustainability embedded within plans and practices.
I3 applicants must be:
If you believe your products / services contribute to bringing quality health products closer to African users at an affordable price point, we suggest you apply to the program and put emphasis on synergies between i3 and your value proposition.
Eligible organizations will be Africa-led, operated and owned. We define this as having an African national with long-term control and management of the business, an equity stake, and an active role in both strategic and day-to-day decision-making. The organization does not necessarily need to be headquartered in Africa. Non-profits, consultancies, intermediaries, and consortiums are not eligible.
To be eligible to the program, the startup must be in the early or growth stage as defined below:
While the absence of clear revenue data will not result in an automatic disqualification, applications will be required to provide evidence on validated customer demand and a developed a working prototype with a strong plan to scale and sustain growth.