Home-focused healthcare platform Portea Medical today announced that it had acquired specialty pharmaceutical distributor MedybizPharma. The acquisition was made for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Through this acquisition, Portea aims to strengthen patient engagement and provide better care for chronic disease patients in India.
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Meena and Ganesh Krishnan bought Portea Medical in July 2013 from Zachary Jones and Karan Aneja, who founded the company in the middle of 2012. Portea is currently active across 24 cities in India, and four cities in Malaysia. Their focus is on general primary health care, post-hospitalization care, chronic disease management, and allied services.
The company offers home visits from doctors, nurses, nursing attendants, and physiotherapists. In addition, they also provide collection of lab samples and medical equipment on hire. Currently, the company claims to handle 60,000+ home visits a month across 24 cities in India. In September 2015, it received a Series B funding of $US 37.5 million from Accel, IFC, Qualcomm Ventures, and Ventureast.
Announcing the acquisition, Meena Ganesh, MD & CEO of Portea Medical, said, “A structured and integrated approach enveloping awareness, monitoring, and ongoing disease management is vital to tackle the battle India faces with chronic disease. While hospital-based treatments are important, continuing care delivered to patients at home is a key prong of effective treatment. Portea is already present across several chronic disease areas and with the acquisition of Medybiz, we are adding a powerful, specialized pharma arm to deliver better pharmacy care to patients with chronic conditions.”
MedybizPharma, which started in 2009, is a leading Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM). Over the last six years it claims to have served more than two lakh patients providing prescription refill and therapy compliance support for super-speciality medicines.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Medybiz has 200 employees and a footprint across 26 cities in 19 states in India. The company was acquired from the Reliance ADA Group by its management team in 2011. Kewal Handa, a 30-year pharmaceutical industry veteran and formerly MD of Pfizer India is the Chairman of Medybiz.
Commenting on the development, Kewal said, “While diseases may respond to medicine, people respond to care, and chronic diseases in particular require specialized care over many years. We have always been committed to the best outcomes for patients and are therefore delighted with our alignment with Portea which will increase the impact we have on patients.”
According to the report released by India Brand Equity, the market size of the healthcare sector in India was estimated to be $75 billion during 2012-13 and is projected to reach $160 billion by 2017. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) currently account for 53% of the total deaths in India and projections indicate a further increase to 67 percent of total deaths by 2030. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major contributor to this burden, attributable to 52 percent of NCD associated deaths and 29 percent of total deaths. During 2005-2015, the projected income loss due to CVD and diabetes alone is likely to be more than $237 billion.
Medybiz’s services include Speciality Pharma Support (Patient Assistance Programs ‘PAP’) for pharmaceutical companies and Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) services as part of employee benefits programs. The company’s offerings run the entire gamut covering diabetes, cardiology, oncology, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and neurology, amongst others.
On the other hand, Portea focuses on general primary health care, post-hospitalization care, chronic disease management, and allied services such as diagnostics and medical equipment. The company also works with hospitals, insurance companies, and individuals to improve health outcomes by providing a continuity of care in the home setting through doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and nursing attendants employed by Portea.
The primary healthcare segment is highly unorganized in India. Portea solves the major painpoint of accessing primary healthcare services conveniently at home. The company competes with Healthcare at Home and India Home Healthcare. Tencent-backed Practo is another major player in the healthcare sector, but their major focus is on helping patients book appointment with doctors and labs.
With the combined arsenal of Portea and MedyBizPharma in their respective sectors of general primary healthcare and speciality pharma support respectively, Portea now has a stronger ability to cater to the growing chornic healthcare sector in India.