Regional underwriter Jubilee Insurance has partnered with an online drugs distributor to launch a service that will deliver medicines to its clients’ offices and homes.
The deal with Livia Dawa will cover the insurer’s customers in Nairobi and Mombasa, saving them from enduring the long wait times experienced at pharmacies.
"Tired of waiting at the pharmacy … don't worry, we've got you covered. We will be in touch to offer you our speedy drug delivery services at your home or office within Nairobi and Mombasa through our partner," said the firm in a text message to customers.
Livia was launched in Kenya in June 2017 by Mombasa-based dental surgeon-cum-entrepreneur Dr Samier Muravvej.
"Livia is to the retail pharmacy industry, what Uber is to the taxi industry. We have signed up reputable chemists in Nairobi and Mombasa as Livia Partner Chemists. As partners, they receive an instant alert when a customer makes an order for medicine or personal care items via the app,” said Dr Muravvej in an earlier interview.
"The chemists then submit quotations where the chemist offering the most competitive price is then linked with the customers.”
The move comes at a time when insurers including Jubliee are calling for policy changes that will see hospitals dispense cheaper generic drugs as opposed to the costly original products.
Insurers have previously blamed heavy reliance on original drugs by hospitals instead of approved generic drugs for runaway costs that have eaten into their bottom line.
In 2018, underwriters blamed doctors for making falsified medical claims by engaging in fraud and colluding with pharmaceutical firms to fleece medical underwriters an estimated at Sh1.1 billion.
The insurance firms said falsified claims and the high cost of drugs prescribed by doctors had pushed more than half of medical cover providers into losses, putting the stability of the industry in peril.