Medhanite, an app-based pharmacy service for finding medications in Addis Ababa, launched its platform in July 2022
Medhanite, which checks the availability of medicines in pharmacies and shares details on how to get there, aims to solve the difficulties of finding medications and promises to reduce the effort, time, and money patients spend searching for medicines in the capital.
Users can upload a photo of prescriptions or manually enter drug details to find where they are located. A call center, 9922, also backs Medhanite.
The application has a nearby feature that shows the availability of the desired medication within a short distance. Though the application shows where to find the drug, it does not show the price or quantity in stock.
Medhanite was co-founded by Messay Kidane, Amanuel Tadesse, and Seifegabriel Seyoum, while a local software development firm, Zowi Tech, built the platform.
The platform has so far onboarded 150 pharmacies across Addis Ababa. Medhanite reminds the pharmacies to regularly update their stock status on the app. The application also allows users to rate pharmacies.
Medhanite plans to give the service for free for one year, using the time to develop awareness among pharmacies. After one year, the founders plan to charge pharmacies an annual subscription fee. Messay, CEO of Medhanite, told Shega that the price had not been set yet.
The application found on Google Play currently also has a feature to save drug details in a personalized pillbox, so users can always have information on hand. Another important feature the application includes is an order list that allows customers to upload their medication needs.
The platform communicates this order to wholesalers and pharmacies, who can then import the medication in a short period and provide it to the patient. The founders believe this feature will significantly reduce black-market medication transactions in Ethiopia.
Medhanite says its users’ data could be utilized for more efficient purposes and show demand and supply metrics, which can be helpful for manufacturers, importers, and wholesalers.
About 200 importers and wholesalers in the pharmaceutical supply chain equip privately owned pharmacies. On the other hand, the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency is in charge of importing and supplying medications to public health institutions.
The Agency provides over 1,000 medicines and medical equipment to over 5,000 public health institutions. Last year, it supplied pharmaceuticals valued at over 25 billion birr.
Some pharmacies in the capital, such as SAS Pharmacy, have started delivering items, while the e-commerce and delivery platform Zmall also has pharmacies in its online store.