Startup Saves Lives by Ridding African Market of Counterfeit Drugs

 Wei Liu, Co-Founder/Chief Science Officer; Amy Kao, Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer; Anna Hwang, Director of eCommerce Analytics and Client Engagement; Daniel Adereti, MAM Class of 2017; Ankur Kapadia, President; not pictured: Adebayo Alonge, Co-Founder

More than 100,000 people die every year in Africa from counterfeit medicines, and that number is increasing. Adebayo Alonge (SOM ’16), a student in the SOM Master of Advanced Management program, knows all too well. He nearly died from counterfeit drugs in a Nigerian hospital.

Alonge relayed that experience to Amy Kao (SOM ’17), a former consultant for the pharmaceutical industry, during the 2015 Yale Healthcare Hackathon. Today, Alonge is CEO and Kao is chief marketing officer of RxAll, a company they co-founded that’s building an artificial intelligence platform enabling spectrometers to authenticate legitimate medication.

Operating chiefly in African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, where counterfeit drugs are widely available, the platform connects hospitals and pharmacies with verified medical wholesalers, informing pharmaceutical manufacturers of counterfeit products in real time. To date, RxAll has received funding from the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Ministry of Health, as well as InnovateHealth Yale and the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.