Pharma inventory management subscription service comes to Kenya

Alex Okal with Caroline Kendy during delivery at Blue Guard Pharmacy (Donholm) in Nairobi on November 8, 2019

Shelf Life, the revolutionary pharmaceutical inventory management subscription service, has been licensed in Kenya by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

The service, provided by Field Intelligence, is active in 50 retail locations in Kenya, with over 500 life-saving medicines and essential products being supplied on a pay-as-you-sell basis.

In Kenya there are about 5,840 privately-owned community pharmacies licensed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, compared to approximately 4,700 government health facilities.

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According to the company’s research, 60% of community pharmacies frequently stock out of essential medicines and 55% are without access to stable supply and finance.

With Shelf Life pharmacies achieve an average 96% availability on essential products from over 45 therapeutic areas – including medication for hypertension, diabetes and malaria.

These improvements in accuracy are thanks to Shelf Life subscriptions, which gives pharmacists access to business insights to forecast and optimize inventory levels.

Pharmacies on Shelf Life sell their products on consignment – paying only for what they sell. This protects them from inventory and expiry risk, as well as enabling them to expand their range of medicines and other essential items.

Kenyan pharmacies on the platform are adding an average of 34 new product subscriptions to their Shelf Life account each month.

Shelf Life was launched in July 2017, by Field Intelligence, to sell pharmaceuticals and provide technology-enabled inventory management services to community pharmacies. As well as the Kenya operation, it has offices in Nigeria and Germany.

By offloading inventory management, logistics, and retail analytics to Shelf Life, pharmacies are freeing up an average of Sh100,000/- in working capital per month. They receive monthly business intelligence insights, which cover inventory performance and pricing.

“For a long time we have wanted to expand the treatments we offer our customers. But nowadays it is tough for a small business to raise the finance to do this,” said a Mr.Omar of Princess Pharmacy in South C, Nairobi says.

“By subscribing to Shelf Life, we have been able to reduce the risk of stocking more products and we’ve been able to free up cash to hire more staff. Our customers really like that we’re open longer and that they can get genuine quality medicines.”

Ajiffa Labor, Head Pharmacist, Shelf Life Kenya, says, “We have had great support from the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya and the Kenya Pharmaceutical Association. They recognise that we can bring discipline and scale to retail pharmacy management. By offloading analytics, procurement and logistics to Shelf Life, Pharmacists are able to focus on treating their customers with genuine, quality medicines.”

Michael Moreland, CEO and Co-Founder, Field, says, “With approaching 200 community pharmacies on the Shelf Life platform across Africa, we are building the largest technology-enabled pharmacy supply chain network on the continent. We’re only scratching the surface of how technology can transform access to healthcare for many millions of people.