According to the World Health Organisation, Africa currently has the highest age-standardised mortality rate of non-communicable diseases (779 per 100K people, versus US and EUR at 400-600 per 100K people). Poor access to medical resources and over-burdened healthcare systems, as well as an increasing prevalence of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes are driving a need for access to affordable new medicines and more advanced diagnostic equipment.
Pyramid Group is a leading distributor of specialist medical equipment and products delivering the latest standard of care, access and affordability to Africans to address this need.
Founded in 2001, the company has grown to be the largest specialty distributor for cardiac and orthopaedic equipment in East and West Africa offering a comprehensive range of quality medical products from top-tier brands including Medtronic Plc and Johnson & Johnson, opening up access to specialised products like pacemakers and hip replacements for customers in Africa. Previously customers would need to travel abroad for these specialist treatments, contributing to c.$1bn a year to medical tourism abroad.
Pyramid’s products are distributed across eight countries in East and West Africa. The company currently provides healthcare products to four million consumers, of which over two million are emerging, through a vast number of healthcare providers, including over 700 in Tanzania alone. This is projected to increase to eight million total consumers over the next four years of which over five million are emerging.
LeapFrog’s investment in Pyramid will support business and operational improvements, enabling the company to reach more healthcare providers and expand its product lines and services across Africa.
According to recent research, the pharma and devices market is expected to reach $60 billion by 2022; meaning that Pyramid is well positioned to deliver strong commercial and impact returns.
(Goldstein Research referencing the IFC and the World Bank; September 2017)
According to the World Health Organisation, orthopaedic conditions are the second largest contributor to disability worldwide. Such conditions significantly limit mobility and dexterity, leading to difficulty working and early retirement from employment, reduced accumulated wealth and decreased ability to participate in social roles. In India, orthopaedic disorders are the most prevalent chronic disease affecting over 200 million people. In particular, elderly populations tend to have a higher prevalence of orthopaedic ailments.
Ascent Meditech, a leading Indian medical products company and distributor of niche consumer healthcare products, is helping to provide relief for these chronic conditions.
Ascent, which has built a sophisticated manufacturing, distribution and retail strategy, specialises in wound care, mobility aids and orthopaedic soft goods. The company sold 15 million products in 2017 through its extensive network of 150,000 retail pharmacy points across 12 Indian States. Ascent’s flagship brand of products, Flamingo, is sold in more than 40 countries across the globe.
The company’s products are currently sold to seven million customers, approximately 90% of whom are low-income emerging consumers, with a focus on providing high quality and competitively priced orthopaedics to India’s aging population. The share of India’s population over the age of 60 is projected to increase from 8% today to 19% by 2050. Typically, elderly consumers prefer medical aids over invasive solutions such as surgery.
Dr. Felix Olale, Partner and Global Co-Lead for Health Investments at LeapFrog commented: “The Ascent Meditech team has achieved outstanding growth in the orthopaedic and wound care market, addressing a core need for consumers with high quality products and competitive prices, thus opening up accessibility. We see a huge opportunity for LeapFrog to partner with an outstanding management team to increase production and distribution of Ascent’s quality and trusted products, including the flagship Flamingo brand, in India, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.”
The investment in Ascent will capitalise on the favourable dynamics in both the domestic and international markets. The $100 billion Indian healthcare market is expected to expand at 12-15% CAGR.