There Could Soon Be An Uber – But For Your Meds

by | Feb 9, 2017 | Health

Photography from Unsplash

28 year-old pharmacist Johannes Mangane came up with a system (like an Uber, but for your meds) that allows people who live in rural areas access their meds without having to make the trip to the clinic.  

Accessing Your Prescription Is A Mission 

Worldwide, we’re a population of around 7 billion people. But 2 billion of those can’t access the medicine they need. “In South Africa, a lack of infrastructure, especially in remote rural areas, is a huge challenge we are well aware of,” says Carel Meintjes, Commercial Excellence Head at Sandoz in South Africa. 

In South Africa, being on chronic medication can mean long lines, expensive trips to distant medical centres and clinics, and sometimes unfilled prescriptions due to medicine shortages. The cost to patients is high – it can mean a day or more of lost work time, high travel costs, and exposure to secondary infections,” says Johannes Mangane, who came up with the system.

An Uber For Meds 

Enter PillDrop. The idea is for patients to be able to get their meds without making the journey to the clinic. “PillDrop is a mobile app that will enable patients to register as users and motorists or motorcycle drivers to register as providers. The fee charged by the driver to collect and deliver the medication will be less than the normal cost of travel by the patient to collect the medicine. The app will also enable the patient to view availability of the medicine at the pickup point before initiating a request. In addition, the app will be used to educate patients on disease management, and act as a platform for community pharmacovigilance, enabling patients to report adverse drug reactions online,” says Mangane. 

There’s a lot more to the app. It enables pharmacists to schedule medicine deliveries and adds a security layer, requiring the registration of PillDroppers and GPS tracking of parcels. 

Right now, the app is in its conceptual phases: Mangane submitted the idea as part of the global Sandoz HACk competition, which aims to lend support for initiatives that create bigger access to healthcare.

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