NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Regional retail pharmacy chain Goodlife Pharmacy has raised Sh300 million in investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
This comes barely a year after the company received Sh2.2 billion investment from LeapFrog Investments.
The company plans to further grow its footprint to over 100 locations across the region over the next five years.
A majority of the new stores will aim to serve customers earning less than $10 (Sh1000) a day, living in underserved and lower-income areas that are served by informal and unregulated drug stores.
“A fundamental transformation is taking place in East African healthcare and is being driven by rising consumer incomes, disease burdens shifting from acute to chronic, and an undersupply of relevant health infrastructure. Goodlife has been a leader in responding to this transformation by bringing access to quality medicines and chronic health services closer to the customer,” Dr. Felix Olale, Partner and Global Co-Lead for Health Investments at LeapFrog, commented.
According to the IFC, consumer spending on health in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to double over the next ten years.
“IFC’s investments in Goodlife support a trusted pharmacy brand that is committed to delivering high-quality service and products. Goodlife’s expansion is an important step towards consolidating Kenya’s retail pharmaceutical industry, and ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality, reliable products,” Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Sub Saharan Africa.
This is the second investment the firm has received from IFC.
A 2015 IFC loan of Sh450 million helped accelerate the company’s early-stage growth and saw it expand significantly from a small enterprise with four stores.
The East African retail pharmacy sector is highly fragmented, with more than 12,000 independent retailers and medicine sellers in Kenya alone.
Ineffective regulation, sub-standard or counterfeit drugs, and a lack of information available to the buyer leave room in the market for affordable, reliable pharmaceuticals.