BUPHARCO: QUALITY AND AFFORDABLE MEDICINE FOR EVERYONE
The Philippines is a country beset by inequality of wealth distribution, where a third of its population live below the national poverty line, and access to quality healthcare and medicines is difficult for many.
Despite the further crowding of the pharmaceutical retail market in urban areas, still many rural and remote areas in the country are not effectively served by the existing players in the market.
Bupharco is a multipurpose cooperative that is providing quality and affordable drugs to rural areas in Mindanao. 70% of its members are women.
Being a cooperative, Bupharco has the advantage to pursue the first chain of drugstores that is owned by its members who are also its target buyers and clients and beneficiaries for its various services and social programs.
Bupharco was one of the first drug retail businesses in Mindanao. Throughout its development, the company has achieved a membership base of around 3,500 persons who benefit from the various services and micro-lending programs. Micro-lending helps members to effectively access medicines from Bupharco from time to time, especially during emergency situations. Members also have special discounts on medicines and are given opportunities to invest in the cooperative’s business operations through high yielding savings and time deposit products. The cooperative also establishes medicine distribution networks and education in remote areas to ensure that the people can access basic medicines, regularly organizes free medical missions in the communities of its members and coordinates these with the Medical Mission Group (MMG), doctor volunteers and their medicine suppliers.
C4D Partners has funded alongside the members the further scaling of the pharmacy business operation, creating jobs, and building opportunities for its suppliers and distributors such as local food producers and local store owners. The cooperative will also encourage increased women participation in its market chain.