Miti Health Stops Dangerous Counterfeit Drugs from Damaging The Developing World
By: Cayte Bosler
Dallas, TX | Posted April 6, 2016
A New York Times op-ed last year highlighted the global disparity in access to quality medication. For people in developing countries, counterfeit drugs are a huge problem. In fact, a more recent Washington Post piece refers to the problem of unreliable pharmaceuticals as a global pandemic, amounting to an estimated $75 billion market annually. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 30% of drugs sold in low-income countries are fake, expired or damaged, compared to 1% in more industrialized nations.
But Miti Health, founded in 2013 and based in Nairobi, Kenya, aims to change this market failure with a two-pronged approach. They arm private sector pharmacies with software tools to weed out fake medications and simultaneously interrupt the supply chain in East Africa to eradicate poor quality medications before they reach the pharmacies.
“When people in Kenya visit the pharmacy, there is a one in three chance they’ll get a substandard drug,” says Miti Health managing director Jennifer Stutsman. “You are gambling every time you go in. People won’t come back if they don’t get better.”
This is bad for both the business of the pharmacy and the health of clients. Miti Health saw the need for a new system of verification, so this past summer they invited 15 pharmacies in Kenya to participate in a pilot program to test their software.