Sanofi Global Health Unit impact fund first investment in Swipe RX to improve healthcare access

ACCESS TO MEDICINES • March 09, 2023

Sanofi strives to provide better health and access to quality medicines and vaccines for patients and populations who need them around the world. In 2021, Sanofi launched the Global Health Unit (GHU), a non-profit business unit with a remit to increase access to medicines considered essential by the World Health Organization (WHO) for patients in some of the least developed regions of the world. The Global Health Unit will operate in 40 countries among those with the lowest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and will supply 30 of Sanofi's most essential medicines, including treatments for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer. As the provision of medicines is not enough in itself to meet unmet needs, GHU will also work with local health authorities and care providers to train healthcare professionals, raise disease awareness and help set up healthcare systems for diseases that require chronic treatment and complex care. 

In 2022, Sanofi also announced the establishment of a €25 million Impact Fund, with the vision to help drive the scale-up of inclusive businesses to improve access to health care. The fund will support startup companies and other innovators who can deliver scalable solutions for healthcare in underserved regions. By providing inclusive business financing and technical assistance, the fund will complement the GHU’s mission of leveraging global, regional, and local investment to support the training of healthcare professionals and aiding communities in running sustainable healthcare systems.

In January 2023, the Impact Fund announced its first investment in SwipeRx, a leading tech platform operating across South-East Asia which supports over 250,000 pharmacists and 50,000 pharmacies in improving availability and affordability of medicines, and quality of care delivered to patients. SwipeRX provides fragmented pharmacies with is a single platform enabling online education and collaboration, centralized purchasing, financing, and logistics solutions. This agreement, which includes both a financial investment and leveraging Sanofi’s business expertise, will support SwipeRX’s ability to strengthen and scale its business model in lower-middle income Global Health Unit countries, like Cambodia.

“We recognize the importance of investing in local entrepreneurial businesses that strengthen and support sustainable healthcare delivery and improve outcomes. SwipeRx has proven its ability to drive impact by empowering even the most remote pharmacies to improve the care delivered to patients. We are very excited to play a role in SwipeRx’s scale-up journey as investor and partner through our Impact Fund, focusing on the model replicability in lower-middle income countries, such as Cambodia.”

– Jon Fairest, Head of Global Health Unit

Investing with impact in local markets is a fundamental and important step in helping to strengthen and support sustainable healthcare delivery.

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