This is the sixth instalment of our “Why We Invested” series, where we will share our thought process in the investments we have made from Integra Partners Fund II, the problems they are addressing, and what they are doing about it. You can find the rest of the series here.
In June 2022, we gave a brief overview on the digital and fintech landscape in Pakistan, where we looked into 1) Pakistanis’ preference to use cash for transactions, 2) the large proportion of unbanked population and existing credit gap, and 3) the current fragmented payments processes available. In this instalment, we go a little deeper into why we invested in MedznMore, Pakistan’s leading B2B digital pharmacy and how it is playing a key role in the local healthcare market and onboarding local pharmacies into the digital financial ecosystem.
Imagine you wake up one morning with gastric flu, you frantically look through your first aid box for medication only to realise that you have none stocked up at home. In pain, you head over to your local pharmacy just down the street to get some medicine for your gastric flu. When you arrive at the pharmacy, you give a sigh of relief when you spot the medicine you need on the shelves. After popping a pill, you head back to bed, waiting for the medicine to take effect. To your horror, several hours later you wake up in excruciating pain and need to be rushed to the hospital. Turns out the pill you bought was a counterfeit one and not only did it not cure your gastric flu, it might have worsened your condition altogether!
While the above story might sound like a scene ripped out from a soap opera, millions of Pakistanis face the same risk daily. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as one million people die every year worldwide from ingesting counterfeit medications. Frequent reports show Pakistan’s bustling grey markets filled with wholesalers hawking counterfeit medicine from painkillers to antibiotics, with some even concocting the pills or syrup on the spot.
Read the full article here
Written by Joshia Kwa, Principal at Integra Partners. llustrated by Theodore Ng, Associate at Integra Partners.