MyDawa; an E-health Service Set to Cut Cost of Pharma and Health Products

    Neil O'Leary (Left), Dr. James Mwanzia (Center), Tony Wood.

    Ever thought of how easy it can be buying a health product from the comfort of your home? Frustrated by multiple rounds in pharmacies looking for prescribed drugs? Stricken with fear at the prospect of being sold a generic drug or of a retailer over pricing of a drug? Worry no more. MyDawa app might be your perfect solution!

    First of its kind in the market, MyDawa is a pharmaceutical brand that allows patients to purchase high quality healthcare, fitness and wellness products through mobile phones.  “We are developing our own brand of prescription only medicines, over the counter drugs, blood supplements and Multi-vitamins among others,” says Tony Wood, the Managing Director at MyDawa. “Our own branded drugs are about 40 percent cheaper than equivalent brands in the market,” he adds. Medicines by other companies are however sold at recommended market prices making MyDawa inexpensive.

    MyDawa is also a solution provider allowing patients to access good quality medications at affordable prices. This new innovation is all about convenience as customers will no longer need to hang around a chemist or a hospital as their medicine is being procured. “At MyDawa, the patient is at the heart of everything that we do,” emphasizes the Managing Director.

    The service guarantees quality, affordability and gives consumers value for their money for products purchased.

    The app has been received well and has attracted about 10,000 mobile downloads so far and over 1,000 website visitors every day.

    Motivation behind MyDawa App

    The concept of MyDawa was conceived and implemented by Neil O’Leary, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ion Equity. Serving in the health sector, he has with time visited various countries in Africa, Europe and the United States. It is during these trips that he identified the major cutting across challenge facing the health sector – huge costs of medications and differences in price of similar drugs in different places. His main goal being universal access to medications, Neil initially sought to address inefficiencies resulting in the additional costs jeopardizing access and affordability.

    How it works

    Consumers can access the platform online via or download the app on their mobile phones and register. They can then browse the wide range of products, select what they need- be it wellness products or prescription drugs – and add it to their shopping cart. For prescription drugs, consumers are required to scan and upload the prescription onto the platform.

    Once uploaded, our qualified pharmacists confirm the details and transact your products and place them in your cart. Payments are made via mobile money and products are then delivered to a pharmacy of your choice. Consumers receive an SMS or email notification confirming their order has been accepted, processed, and ready for collection at specified location plus delivery time.

    Partnering with 150 pharmacies in Nairobi where drop offs can be made, the products are delivered in a sealed patient pack within 4 hours. “Our products are secured with authentication seal that consumers are required to confirm after delivery. The aim is to ensure safety as we endeavor to offer a complete end to end solution, offers Mr. Wood.

    Product range

    MyDawa offers a wide range of quality medication and supplements that consumers need. They include prescription only medicine, over the counter, medical device, personal care, cosmetics, wellness, hygiene and about 70 skincare products. All products shared are approved by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.

    “Our objective is not just to get you well, but to keep you well so that you can live well,” says Mr. Wood, besides wealth of important health information clients can access on our blog and the website.

    Why Kenya first?

    Kenya is a hotbed of innovations driven by the receptive nature of most Kenyans to embrace new technologies and solutions that fit their needs. A point in case is of M-Pesa; a world leading innovation that is still relevant many years after inception. Penetration of internet and smartphone is also high. In a nutshell, the business environment and technology made the country an ideal place to start. The model will be built in Kenya and replicated in other countries explains Mr. Wood.


    Since its launch, MyDawa has received massive support from various government entities including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. It has also been working with prescribers associations, Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) and KPA among others.

    “We have also attracted interest from drug manufactures and prescriber groups who want us to sell their products,” notes Mr. Wood.

    The Managing Director says that technology platforms like MyDawa can make healthcare more accessible and bring about real efficiencies which in turn reduces cost of care. They also provide alternatives for patients and make the entire experience simpler, easier, and convenient – from diagnosis to obtaining prescriptions.

    In order to enhance the platform, MyDawa is constantly bringing new products as well as improving its features. “We are currently working on a USSD platform that will allow individuals without internet connectivity to use our services. It’s all about how we can make the customer journey easy and more fulfilling as we go forward,” he concludes.