Pakistan’s MedznMore makes tackling fake meds its mission

Pakistan-based startup MedznMore claims to have raised $2.6m in seed funding for its online pharmacy business, which aims to tackle the country’s twin problems of patchy access to medicines and a high prevalence of falsified products.

The Karachi-based company says it can achieve that objective by acquiring medicines directly from pharma manufacturers, guaranteeing their authenticity, and developing an online platform that delivers prescription and over-the-counter drugs directly to patients’ homes in the city for free within four hours.

The company was founded in August by Asad Khan, formerly general manager of food order delivery service Careem, and Saad Khawar, previously with Pakistani online pharmacy startup Dawaai.

The most quoted figure for the prevalence of poor-quality medicines in Pakistan is 40 to 50 per cent, although that is disputed, and the country has also been cited as a source of falsified medicines exported to other countries around the world.

Official figures from Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) from 2018 suggested 92.6 per cent of more than 40,000 drug samples tested in that year were genuine, quality medicines, with 0.1 per cent falsified, 1.2 per cent unregistered and 6.1 per cent genuine but substandard.

Earlier this year, Pakistan’s government launched a mobile app providing instant access to the country’s National Essential Medicines List (NEML), providing a facility to scan barcodes to verify products as well as a way to lodge complaints with regulators.

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