On matters disruption, redefining the market size and understanding who you are disrupting is a good starting point. In addition, innovation and thinking like an outsider are key ingredients to the disruption. In the healthcare space, e-health platforms make it easy to access quality and affordable medicine and personal care products at the click of a button.


In Kenya, one such outlet is disrupting the market by allowing patients to buy medication, vitamins, supplements and other health and wellness products through MYDAWA.com or the MYDAWA mobile application. Consumers can access a wide variety of products using their mobile phones wherever they are.

For prescription drugs, the consumer uploads the prescription for review by qualified and registered health professionals before delivery is done with tamper-proof seals by pharmaceutical professionals.

This allows the patients to get counselling and ask any questions that they might have regarding their medication. The delivery time is less than four hours in Nairobi and its environs such as Ngong, Ongata Rongai, Thika, Ruiru and Kitengela. Deliveries outside Nairobi and all across Kenya are fulfilled within 24 hours. The firm became the first e-retailing outlet to be licensed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya in 2018.

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“It was a huge milestone, as it allowed us to operate as an online retail pharmacy providing the full suite of retail services to patients directly through our digital platforms,” said Tony Wood, the Managing Director of MYDAWA, in an interview with StartUp magazine at his office in Nairobi.

Benefits of MYDAWA

The company has eliminated the middleman in the supply chain and the associated costs to the benefit of the patient. It estimates that MYDAWA branded products sold on the platform are at least 40 per cent below the market price for similar products.

Ordering on MYDAWA allows users to save up to 20 per cent on the cost of the products and delivery. The benefits are likely to extend to insurance companies through better pricing, operational efficiency and fraud reduction.

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The company estimates savings of up to 50 percent on outpatient cover by private insurance companies and government schemes (for example, the National Health Insurance Fund) through the use of their platforms and systems, which include software for doctors, insurers, pharmacies and other health providers.

Insurance Companies on MYDAWA

MYDAWA has partnered with seven insurance companies to allow their members to pay for their orders using their insurance covers. AAR Insurance, Britam Insurance, First Assurance, Heritage Insurance, Madison Insurance, MTN Insurance and Sanlam Insurance are all active.

Patients are able to access the products they need conveniently and securely. The use of technology in the entire process means that they are able to have a record of their dispensing history, giving them more awareness and control over their health. Patients validate their transactions using biometrics, which is an added level of security.

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