Cipla Medpro buys stake in Brandmed

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Pharmaceutical manufacturer Cipla Medpro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian generic giant Cipla, has acquired a 30% stake in local digital health company Brandmed for R65m, reports Business Day. The deal offers Cipla Medpro, which is South Africa’s third-largest pharmaceutical company operating in the private sector, an opportunity to boost sales of its products for treating non-communicable diseases, as Brandmed’s system aims to improve patient adherence to their pill-taking schedules.

Brandmed has developed a digital system for diagnosing and managing non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. It links a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a blood pressure cuff, to a smartphone app, which delivers regular reports to the patient’s doctor to help manage the patient’s disease. It also triggers the provision of emergency services, if the captured data signals an imminent crisis, such as a stroke.

Cipla Medpro CEO Paul Miller is quoted in the report as saying the company will make further investments of up to four times the acquisition price in Brandmed over the next three years.

Brandmed has invested in the tools to quantify the risks facing patients of major health events, such a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure, said Brandmed founder Riaz Motara. “The minute patients know their risk, they are more likely to have the mind-shift to change their lifestyle or adhere to their medication,” he said. “Drugs alone are not enough to manage a disease, and the disease burden will become unmanageable unless innovative systems are implemented.”

The report says Brandmed aims to reach 600 private practices within the next three years. Miller said South Africa confronts a growing burden of non-communicable diseases, and there is scope for better management of these conditions in both the private and public sectors.

South Africa ranks as the one of the world’s unhealthiest places to live in the Indigo Wellness Index, he said, referring to a study published in journal Global Perspectives in March. Motara said that 8% of GDP is spent on health, yet the outcomes are not there.

Business Day report

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