INTERVIEW | How RxAll Inc Revolutionized Access to Drugs During COVID-19 Lockdown – Ogunoiki
Akindele Ogunoiki trained as a pharmacist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife with a postgraduate degree in Mastering Business Administration from the same university. With over eleven years experience in sales and marketing of pharmaceuticals across ethical and OTC products, Ogunoiki joined RxAll Inc in 2020 as the Head of Sales Growth, West Africa. Headquartered in West Africa’s largest city, Ibadan, RxAll Inc is currently deploying artificial intelligence with the aim of building Africa’s largest digital pharmacy platform. In this interview with SIGNAL, Ogunoiki talks about how their initiative, RxDelivered revolutionizd access to drugs during the COVID-19 lockdown. Excerpts;
In Ibadan and in Nigeria generally, you have been recently engaged with work around the fight against fake and contaminated drugs using AI. Can you tell us about it?
Yes. We have been engaged with ensuring patient’s access to authenticated medicine. We have the RxSanner which authenticates pharmaceutical products in 20 seconds. We started off by engaging retail pharmacies and private hospitals in Ibadan about the need for everyone (especially professionals like Doctors and Pharmacists) to join the fight against circulation of fake medicines in Nigeria by partnering with organisations like RxAll and use of the RxScanners.
We did not stop with the RxScanners alone, we also understand the importance of providing an effective option to the chaotic distribution of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. We came up with RxDelivered which is an online platform for retail pharmacies, private hospitals, and patent medicine stores to procure pharmaceutical products, surgical materials and all others directly from www.rxalldelivered.com. This provides an opportunity for these buyers to order genuine products directly from authentic sellers on our platform. We have reached close to 1,000 users currently majorly from Ibadan.
During the outbreak of COVID-19, you started a project that helps provide affordable and verified drugs to communities. What inspired this project and how much success have you recorded so far?
During the outbreak of COVID 19, there was lockdown and movement was limited. However, access to quality medicines was so essential at the time. This gave birth to RxDelivered which is an online platform for retail pharmacies and hospitals to request for pharmaceutical products online and have it delivered at their convenience. A large number of SMEs in the medical space in Ibadan now make use of RxDelivered.
Last year, your company RxAll was in the global spotlight when your co-founder Adebayo Alonge was announced winner of a global competition and award prize of €100,000 for a nanoscanner technology that detects fake drugs. How has this impacted the growth of your organization?
The award won by the Co-founder – Mr Adebayo Alonge brought attention to RxAll locally and globally. We are getting interest from global brands like Novartis, AstraZeneca, Pfizer etc of opportunities of partnership and collaboration to put an end to drug counterfeiting and faking.
We came up with RxDelivered which is an online platform for retail pharmacies, private hospitals, and patent medicine stores to procure pharmaceutical products, surgical materials and all others directly from www.rxalldelivered.com. This provides an opportunity for these buyers to order genuine products directly from authentic sellers on our platform. We have reached close to 1,000 users currently majorly from Ibadan.
Have you received any support or recognition yet from the Nigerian government?
We look forward to support from the government especially with respect to regulation of drug distribution in Nigeria and recognition of efforts of individuals like Adebayo Alonge in areas of innovation and development of I.T. in Nigeria. RxScanner should be mandated for drug supply points like wholesalers and Pharma companies to authenticate pharmaceutical products and ensure reduction of circulation of fake medicines in Nigeria.
What must the government do to support start-ups like yours to solve indigenous problems facing Nigeria?
There is a lot the government can do to support start-ups especially tech start-ups. Funding is very important. Setting up grants to support innovative ideas that provide solutions to current national problems cannot be overstated. Another is to foster the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create a hub to tap young innovative minds. Provision of infrastructure like stable power is also very important. Finally, for start-ups that are making marks like ours, the government needs to give more recognition and support like providing tax exemption.
What does the future hold for RxAll?
The future holds a lot of opportunities for RxAll. Globally, the brand will be recognised in the fight against counterfeiting and fake medicines as the frontliner.
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