The use of counterfeit drugs in many countries on the continent and in other emerging markets has been historically prevalent, and co-founder and CEO of Sproxil, Ashifi Gogo does not take this problem lightly.
Gogo was born in Ghana, and at a very young age, made a decision that would ultimately change the course of his life. On the heels of a strike by university professors in Ghana, an action that would delay his enrollment in university, he decided to take the SATs (a US College Admissions Test) and subsequently received a full scholarship to Whitman College in Washington State. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics & Physics before completing a doctoral degree in Engineering from Dartmouth.
Sproxil was birthed at Dartmouth, where Gogo first learned about the impact the distribution of counterfeit drugs had on vulnerable populations. In 2009, a toxic chemical mixed into a teething medicine for babies killed at least 84 children in Nigeria. The chemical causes severe kidney and liver damage and ultimately causes paralysis. If this was going on, Gogo figured it was a widespread epidemic —- and he was right. The company was launched in 2010 with a project to help the Nigerian government battle the development and distribution of counterfeit drugs and improve the market share of verified pharmaceutical companies.
Sproxil’s mobile based model is simple but indicative of the direction innovative and technologically driven enterprises are moving — expanding social and business goals in established and nascent markets. Today, the venture capital backed for-profit company is in six countries, with solutions that span across four industries.
Ashifi Gogo was recognized as an immigrant innovator Champion of Change by the White House and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.