CDMS - Lowering end user costs of NCD medication

Medication for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is often not affordable to patients in Kenya due to high drug prices. Hospitals incur high procurement costs as they individually buy small amounts of the medication, instead of buying large quantities that entitles them to volume discounts. These high prices are then passed on to patients.

CDMS ("Cronical Drugs Medical Scheme") decreases the procurement costs of NCD drugs for small and medium-sized hospitals by aggregating their demand. They then obtain quantity discounts from pharmaceutical companies and bypass distributors and wholesalers.

The second component of CDMS’ points of action is a pre-screening program that creates demand for the low-cost NCD medication. In order to enable patients to benefit from the lower drug prices, the pre-screenings raise awareness on NCDs and identify high-risk patients in the community. These patients are then screened and those with elevated blood pressure and sugars are referred to a precontracted ‘hub’ hospital where they benefit from the lower costs. 


Business model:

CDMS receives a commission fee on NCD medication from the hospitals.


Current status:   

CDMS is a registered social enterprise in Kenya. The activity of reducing the price of NCD medicines has already been piloted in 2019, achieving average savings of 18%. In cooperation with community workers, CDMS has also implemented the second pillar of the business model. Up until now, more than 8.000 pre-screenings have already taken place, diagnosing hypertension in over 25% of the cases.

Due to Covid-19, CDMS was severely impacted in its concrete plans. In order to further solve the NCD challenge despite Covid-19, they now plan to focus in particular on training hospital staff, quality assurance and reducing drug costs through volume discounts. In order to implement this, they plan to set up a value-added system for hospitals. More than 100 hospitals have already shown interest in registering for the value-added services.

In addition, they are working with the Project ECHO  to establish the CDMS as an online training center for hospital staff in 100 hospitals.

Expected impact:

Lowering the costs of NCD medication, set up a value-added system for hospitals, identifying high risk patients, training hospital staff, raising awareness among the community for NCDs. 



Boehringer Ingelheim, Making more health, Ashoka


Further information:

CDMS webpage



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