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All of us have experienced a pain, directly or indirectly, of locating a particular medicine in our life-time (and especially during last two years).
Covid 19 has made all of us painfully aware of how broken our healthcare system is and especially, why we need a disruption in Pharma Supply Chain.
Let’s do a summary of things that are available to us, in 2022
You can find movie tickets (Pre-covid days) or movies without leaving your couch.
Amount of calls myself and our team members have received from our friends and families looking for particular medicines during Delta wave (Summer ‘21) have been mind boggling.
We believe it should be as easy as booking a cab or ordering Pizza.
Imagine a world, where a patient:
It sounds simple and obvious. It sounds even necessary and yet, somehow we are nowhere close to that being reality.
So, why do we think something that is so vital (pun intended) and seemingly simple hasn’t been done yet?
We believe there are two main missing components:
In India, it is estimated that there are more than 500k medicines available for sale at any given time. (To be clear there are less than 20,000 unique contents of the medicines available and approved for sale). The problem is Central Gov of India doesn’t have any database for the approved products and their meta data like Contents of the medicines. Thus, every doctor writes his/her favorite brand of the medicines content. (Also, know as API in pharma. terms). Following is a snapshot of the problem.
Due to this lack of database, one can not build a system to compare to medicines and suggest alternatives. While, 1mg has done quite decent job in compiling the database of popular products, it is almost impossible to comprehend the scale of this problem as outsider.
To it’s credit, NHA and CDAC has started working on building this “Drug Registry” and so far incorporated about 50k products. It is important to note, the database also needs other metadata like Dosage Formulation, Price, Schedule info, Adverse drug reactions etc.
Let’s assume for a second that aforementioned database does exist. Let’s also assume that all the pharmacies are using this standardized and centralized database (known as “Drug Registry” in NHA). If the pharmacies in your neighborhood are not using the inventory system or if they are using desktop-based offline (younger reader may not even be able to relate to this), then there is no way for any consumers to be able to search and place an order from home.The mobile revolution in India has made it possible for everyone to access internet at affordable prices and we believe that SaaS platform designed for pharma supply chain would revolutionize the accessibility and the affordability of medicines in India.
Over last one year, after speaking to numerous VCs, one of the best I have come to describe this is the following:
Imagine you are trying to build an Uber (or Ola for that matter), you also found out that there are cabs who are willing to pick up and drop off passengers but then you realized that there is no GPS technology that is available.
Building such Centralized and Standardized Database (“Drug Registry”) and using it on SaaS platform used by Pharmacies in India is such GPS. This is what eVitalRx does.