London’s TLG Capital, in partnership with Medical Credit Fund has just announced an investment through its Credit Opportunities Fund into Express Pharmacy – a Nigerian retail chain.
According to an official press release, the focus of the investment is to help Express to expand its footprint across Lagos. Express clients are the underserved middle-low income population with no access to trustworthy medication (40% of the population of Lagos according to a Dalberg study).
Counterfeit medicine in Nigeria is a major health challenge as the country has a strong presence of highly unregulated open drug markets where medicines are sold on street corners, at kiosks, and at stalls. Preventing counterfeit medicines from entering Nigeria is very difficult, partly because more than 70% of drugs in the country are imported. To have an idea of the significance of this issue, in 2011, 64% of all antimalarial medicines circulating in Nigeria were reported to be substandard.
Express Pharmacy is among the champions taking the lead to help to solve the problem by implementing measures such as the standardisation of its supply chain across its retail stores to ensure the availability and the authenticity of the medicine it distributes to its customers.
Ms. Abimbola Faseun of Express Pharmacy said: “We are extremely delighted to announce the investment we have secured from TLG Capital and Medical Credit Fund. This is a major step forward for our vision of building a nationwide chain of community pharmacies that will offer underserved communities with high quality medicines at affordable prices.”
Saad Sheikh, Principal of Private Investments at TLG Capital said: “We are excited by our recent investment in Express Pharmacy which further demonstrates our continued commitment to healthcare across Sub Saharan Africa by enhancing innovative business models such as Express. This investment further validates our commitment to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of ‘No Poverty’ ‘Good Health and Well Being’ and ‘Gender Equality’.”
Dorien Mulder, Investment Manager at Medical Credit Fund: “As part of PharmAccess Group we are dedicated to improving access to quality healthcare in Africa through innovations and partnerships. We value the partnership with TLG to support the entrepreneurs of Express to grow this promising model. Express can make a positive and much needed impact on the quality of care available to lower income Nigerians.”