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DrugStoc’s supply chain solution, 7RiverLabs by 54gene, Nigeria’s 5G auction

December 15, 2021 · 3 min read
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Hi there,

Today we’re discussing:

  • DrugStoc’s supply chain solution
  • 54gene’s 7RiverLabs
  • Nigeria’s 5G auction

DrugStoc’s supply chain solution

The DrugStoc team

As the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dora Akunyili was constantly fighting against fake drugs. According to a 2002 NAFDAC study, nearly 41% of pharmaceuticals in the country were counterfeit. 

In addition to being ineffective in treatment, fake drugs could also endanger the lives or well-being of patients. Yet, counterfeit drugs are not the only challenges bedevilling the Nigerian healthcare system. 

While there is the risk of getting fake drugs, there is also the possibility of not getting medications when you need them.

While NAFDAC appears to have intensified its fight against fake drugs, the issue of access remains. And DrugStoc, a Nigeria-based healthtech startup, is helping to solve that problem.

Founded in 2015 by Chibuzo Opara and Adham Yehia, DrugStoc connects manufacturers of quality pharmaceutical products to hospitals and pharmacies. 

Both co-founders met as Yehia was looking for an advisor for his Masters in Health Innovation Management. Their shared experiences in the healthcare space was a common ground, and they moved to Nigeria to tackle healthcare challenges in the country. 

They soon realised how difficult it was to get quality pharmaceutical products and started DrugStoc in 2015. Since then, they’ve served over 20 million people and plan to reach 100 million in the next 18 months. 

Ogheneruemu Oneyibo has more on this story: Using cloud-based technology, DrugStoc is powering a pharmaceutical supply chain for the African market

54gene unveils 7River Labs

Healthtech startup, 54gene, has announced the opening of its diagnostic arm, 7RiverLabs. Equipped with state of the art facilities, the startup has set up sample collection centres in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt. In addition, there are plans for more centres in ten Nigerian cities and other African countries in the coming months.

Speaking on the launch, Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, 54gene’s Founder and CEO, said, “Launching 7RiverLabs is a manifestation of one of the goals 54gene set out to achieve two years ago – to improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes on the continent. With the range of tests 7RiverLabs offers, millions of Africans can begin to take greater control of their health.”

Being able to diagnose a medical condition properly is crucial in treating diseases. However, not all hospitals in Nigeria have the required facilities for this.

Consequently, test samples are often sent outside the country, leading to increased costs for patients. In some cases, patients cannot get a diagnosis because they cannot afford these tests. 

With most Nigerians paying for health out of their pockets, this puts a significant strain on their finances and could lead some to forgo treatment.

7RiverLabs promises affordable tests delivered a few hours after testing. Currently, 7RiverLabs conducts over 300 molecular tests covering infectious diseases, microbiology, clinical chemistry, and oncology.

Nigeria’s 5G auction

Following a bidding process at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, MTN and MAFAB Communications have emerged as winners of the 5G spectrum auction conducted by Nigeria’s Federal Government.

The auction, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, auctioned two lots of 100 MHz for $273.6 million each. 

Following the bidding’s close, the Executive Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, announced that the winners have between now and February 2022 to pay the winning price to the Federal Government.

This development comes as a boost to Nigeria’s 5G plans. It could mean that the prediction of a January 2022 launch by Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, is feasible.

What I’m reading

  • WILL TECH HUBS REPLACE UNIVERSITIES IN AFRICA? Read here
  • Why you should care about Facebook’s big push into the metaverse. Read here

Opportunities

  • Adanian Labs Venture Building Program call for startups for 2022

Have a productive day!

Chimgozirim Nwokoma

Chimgozirim Nwokoma

Author

Accidental writer, covering Africa's startup landscape and its heroes. Find me on Twitter @chigo_nwokoma.

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