Ayala invests in e-pharmacy startup

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AYALA Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health), a subsidiary of listed conglomerate Ayala Corp. (AC), said on Thursday it has invested in an e-pharmacy startup as part of a strategy to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.

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In a disclosure to the stock exchange, AC Health said it recently acquired a minority stake in Wellbridge Health Inc., owner and operator of e-pharmacy MedGrocer.

“AC Health seeks to seed disruptive healthcare solutions that improve efficiency and integration,” the company said.

An FDA-licensed online pharmacy and medicine benefits management service, MedGrocer enables customers to order medicines digitally and have these medicines delivered directly to their homes, AC Health said.

“The investment of AC Health into MedGrocer fits well with both our pharmacy and health tech aspirations. On the pharmacy side, 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,” AC Health Chief Executive Officer Paolo F. Borromeo said in a statement.

MedGrocer adds to the company’s healthcare portfolio, which includes retail pharmacy chain Generika, community clinics FamilyDOC, and mall-based clinics Qualimed.

The online platform allows patients to compare prices and obtain essential information for their medications prior to purchase. All medicines are FDA-certified, and transactions are verified by a licensed pharmacist. It also provides medicines for the clinics of their corporate clients.

“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,” MedGrocer CEO and founder Jerome Uy said.

With programmed capital spending of $100 million to $200 million over the next three to five years, AC Health is aiming to expand Generika to 1,000 stores from 670 currently, and to have 100 FamilyDOC clinics from the current six toward 2020.

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