Ayala Corp enters health tech via ePharmacy startup

MANILA, Philippines –  Ayala Corporation, through its subsidiary Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Incorporated (AC Health) has ventured into the health tech with an investment in startup Wellbridge Health Incorporated.

Wellbridge Health owns and operates FDA-licensed ePharmacy and medicine benefits management service MedGrocer. MedGrocer enables customers to order medicines online and have these medicines delivered directly to them.

The online platform also allows patients to compare prices and research on medicines prior to purchase. All medicines are FDA-certified, and transactions are verified by a licensed pharmacist.

MedGrocer also provides medicines to clinics of corporate clients.

AC Health will take a minority stake in Wellbridge Health although the firm declined to disclose the amount invested.

“We share the mission of providing quality medicines conveniently and affordably to consumers by using technology to eliminate the inefficiencies and assumptions that hinder pharma retail,” said MedGrocer’s  founder and CEO Jerome Uy.

This is AC Health’s first foray into Health tech, which it sees as a natural avenue in its broader strategy to bring healthcare to the mass market. It also maintains a portfolio of traditional health care firm which includes Generika, a retail pharmacy chain, and FamilyDOC, a chain of primary care clinics.

Parent firm Ayala said last year that it plans to invest $50 million in healthcare and education business over the next few years to make the most of the growing Philippine population and rising consumer spending.

“The investment of AC Health into MedGrocer fits well with both our pharmacy and health tech aspirations,” said AC Health CEO Paolo Borromeo in a statement on Thursday, February 9.

“On the pharmacy side,” he added, “we are exploring new ways to reach the consumer and deliver affordable medicine; on the health tech side, we are looking to build a portfolio of innovative technology solutions across the continuum of care.”  – Rappler.com