Non-profit global health organisation, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has launched a new private commercial group purchasing organisation (GPO) in Kenya called MedSource.

The launch is part of MSH’s new global initiative that aims to improve health ecosystems by making quality medicines more affordable.

“MedSource represents an innovative way for MSH to create private sector opportunities to help deliver quality health services and products to more people. We are proud to add this novel approach to the range of other work that we have done over the years and we hope this work in Kenya is just the beginning of similar work throughout Africa,” said MSH’s President and CEO, Marian W. Wentworth.

“We are grateful to our visionary and supportive board, as the initial investment in MedSource is fully funded with MSH cash reserves,” continued Wentworth.

The new venture aims to meet the demands of patients in emerging markets who require more and better options for healthcare. These patients currently rely on a complex web of public, private, and faith-based providers, and are increasingly empowered to seek out the best care available. MSH has recognised the opportunity created by these trends, and hopes MedSource will fill the gaps in availability and affordability of life-saving medicines.

“We know that as many as 80% of patients in low- and middle-income countries seek treatment from private, for-profit health care providers,” said CEO of MedSource, Dr Peter Kamunyo.

“This figure indicates that working with private-sector health providers and pharmacies is really going to help us reach the majority of people,” continued Dr Kamunyo.

MedSource will help its members—pharmacies, hospitals, clinical laboratories and other healthcare providers—realise savings and efficiencies by aggregating purchasing volume and using that leverage to negotiate discounts with manufacturers, distributors, and other vendors. The company will work with distributors and members to ensure the availability of quality products and will also facilitate or provide specialised training in pharmacy management, business management and other related areas.

“Our strategy in Kenya evolved after two years of dialogue with multinational drug manufacturers; distributors; dispensers; associations representing pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors; and the country’s Ministry of Health and pharmacy regulators,” said MSH’s Vice President for the Pharmaceuticals and Health Technologies Group, Douglas Keene.

“MSH’s deep knowledge of pharmaceutical systems and our significant experience and network in Kenya made this possible,” concluded Keene.

MedSource has future plans to expand into other countries.

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