HealthTech Alumni Spotlight with Teniola Adedeji, Founder, Pharmarun

For decades, public health has relied on traditional methods to tackle widespread health challenges. In recent years, the healthcare industry has witnessed a profound shift propelled by the rise of health startups. These innovative ventures are not only disrupting traditional healthcare models but also spearheading transformative changes in public health. With their agility, creativity, and technology-driven solutions, health startups are playing a pivotal role in addressing pressing health challenges, enhancing access to care, and improving health outcomes for communities worldwide.

Today, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on Pharmarun, an innovative health tech startup revolutionizing access to medication delivery across Africa Led by Teniola Adedeji, the visionary leader behind Pharmarun. 

Pharmarun is driven by a passion for leveraging technology to bridge gaps in healthcare delivery, especially in remote and underserved areas. Through their cutting-edge platform, Pharmarun is reshaping the landscape of healthcare delivery in Africa and improving health outcomes for countless individuals.

Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) continues to extend its support to Phamarun through the Investing in Innovation (i3) program. This initiative, part of a broader pan-African effort, is funded by a global network of funders and donors. Its primary aim is to bolster the commercialization and impact of 60 promising early and growth-stage companies across the continent. Through the i3 program, companies like Phamarun receive vital resources, including grants and access to market support, to accelerate their growth and maximize their positive influence within their respective industries and communities.

Let’s dive into our conversation with Teniola Adedeji

● Could you please share a brief overview of your journey in the health tech industry and what inspired you to pursue this path? 

Certainly! My journey in the health tech industry began with a deep-rooted passion for improving access to healthcare and addressing the critical gaps in medication delivery systems. As a retail pharmacist with over 10 years of experience, I witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by patients in accessing essential medications, particularly in underserved communities. This sparked a desire to leverage technology to create innovative solutions that could bridge these gaps and make healthcare more accessible to all. 

I saw an opportunity to disrupt the traditional pharmacy model and create a more efficient and convenient way for patients to access their medications. This vision led to the founding of Pharmarun, an on-demand platform that aggregates pharmacies and streamlines the medication procurement process. 

At Pharmarun, we are providing fast and easy access to medication by aggregating multiple pharmacies and logistic partners, to ensure you get your medication, exactly when and where you need it. We are excited about the opportunities that lies ahead and remain dedicated to realizing our vision of a healthier, more equitable future for all. 

● What are the major impacts Pharmarun has made, please include the success numbers.

Pharmarun has impacted over 50k lives across 25 cities and made significant impacts in improving healthcare access across Africa. We have facilitated access to essential medications for thousands of people. Additionally, Pharmarun has created employment opportunities and contributed to economic growth in the healthcare sector by empowering pharmacies. We are aligned with the SDG goals 3, 8 and 9. . By streamlining medication procurement processes and providing timely delivery services, we have enhanced the overall healthcare experience for our users, ultimately leading to better health outcomes. 

● What excites you most about the future of your organization and its potential impact in the next decade? 

What excites me most about the future of Pharmarun is the potential to significantly expand our impact and reach across Africa in the next couple of years. As we continue to grow and innovate, we aim to become the go-to platform for accessing essential medications, healthcare services, and information. By leveraging technology and strategic partnerships, we have the opportunity to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered and accessed, particularly for underserved communities. Our vision is to ensure that every person in Africa has convenient and affordable access to quality healthcare, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes and a better quality of life for millions of individuals.

● What are some of the key challenges you’ve faced as a health tech entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them? 

One significant challenge has been building trust and credibility within the healthcare industry. Healthcare is a highly regulated and conservative sector, and gaining acceptance for innovative solutions can be challenging. To overcome this, we’ve focused on building strong partnerships with healthcare professionals, institutions, and regulatory bodies. By demonstrating the effectiveness and reliability of our platform, we’ve been able to earn trust and credibility over time. 

Another challenge has been navigating the complexities of the healthcare ecosystem, including interoperability issues. We’ve addressed these challenges by investing in robust technology infrastructure. Additionally, we’ve actively engaged with stakeholders across the healthcare value chain to understand their needs and concerns, ensuring that our solutions align with industry standards and regulations. 

Finally, scaling our operations while maintaining quality and customer satisfaction has been a constant challenge. We’ve overcome this by prioritizing operational efficiency, investing in automation and process optimization, and continuously monitoring and improving our service delivery. Additionally, we’ve focused on building a strong team with diverse skills and expertise to support our growth and expansion efforts. Overall, while challenges are inevitable in the health tech industry, we’ve embraced them as opportunities for learning and growth, ultimately strengthening our position in the market. 

● What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs in the health tech space? Entering the health tech industry requires a genuine commitment, as it can be less glamorous compared to other sectors. There are numerous challenges to address, but also ample opportunities to make a significant impact. Collaboration is key in the health space, so it’s essential to listen to key stakeholders and understand how your solution can integrate into their daily lives. Resilience, flexibility, and a willingness to iterate are critical traits, as the healthcare landscape is complex and constantly evolving. It’s important to be adaptable and persistent in the face of obstacles, as success in health tech often requires overcoming significant hurdles. Finally, I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to stay focused on their mission and vision but be flexible in their approach as they navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry. With determination and a commitment to innovation, they can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and healthcare providers alike.

The Design for Health Practice and the Startup Support at Co-creation Hub are incredibly proud to support innovators like Pharmarun through our i3 program. By providing mentorship, resources, and access to a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, we were able to empower startups to scale their impact and create meaningful change in the world.

If you would like to learn more and stay up to date on our programs, click on these links: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/design-for-health-by-cchub/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dfhbycchub?igsh=MXdkdmU1YnI1dGc1dQ==    

Contact us via : publichealth@cchub.africa