HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabweans abroad can now buy medication online and have it delivered to family at home, via a new platform developed by a leading local pharmacy.
MedOrange, a local pharmacy chain, has launched a product that allows users to remotely access medicines, pharmaceutical care, health, and beauty products.
COVID-19 has been a key driver in accelerating the growth of Zimbabwean tech businesses offering purchases online, and MedOrange’s new online store adds to its existing range of MedOrange retail outlets.
Managing Director of MedOrange Pharmacies, Diana Hore, says: “Our world-class online store is built for such a time as this, offering a full range of pharmaceutical and allied services at highly competitive prices. This is also supported by a robust door to door delivery service which offers an unmatched convenience to our diverse customers across the country’’.
MedOrange’s online store is powered by Contitouch Technologies.
Research shows that 30% of the US$1 billion that is sent to Zimbabwe in remittances annually is used to pay for health care services. However, Zimbabweans abroad find it hard to pay for the medication efficiently, with middlemen charging exorbitant commissions to buy and deliver medicines. By using technology, the need for “runners” is eliminated, according to Hore.
“In developing this platform, we spent a significant amount of time talking to people, both in Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora, to understand their needs. What they want is a transparent, efficient and affordable way of paying for medication for their family and friends in Zimbabwe,” Hore says.
The platform will rely on MedOrange’s network of pharmacies to provide seamless service from the purchase of medicines, via www.medOrange.com, to a delivery service. Some of the formerly Booties Pharmacies in Zimbabwe have been rebranded to MedOrange.
Data shows that the global online pharmacy market is predicted to grow to over US$131 billion by 2025 at an annual growth rate of over 20% in revenue. The industry is heading towards an unprecedented growth in both developed countries developing economies, and Zimbabwe will not be left behind.
While the demand for self-health care has grown, there has not been enough platforms that allow easy online access and delivery. This has left many, both in Zimbabwe and abroad, at the mercy of “runners” who charge commission, Hore notes.
“The MedOrange platform eliminates third parties in the ecosystem and provides an efficient and direct bridge between the pharmacy and the end-user,” she says. The MedOrange online shop provides delivery services to all major towns and cities in Zimbabwe.
The company has plugged in to payment platforms such as EcoCash, local banking, Visa and Mastercard, which allows users at home and outside the country options.
“We believe our platform will continue to make a huge difference in the shift to online, fighting against COVID-19 and making medicines accessible to the underserviced areas,” Hore adds.