Text-based loan service allows workers to buy cheaper medicines

State-owned Landbank has partnered with pharmaceutical brand RiteMed and PLDT financial technology unit FinTQ to roll out an SMS-based program that allows employees to get medicines at a discounted price.

Photo shows (from left) RiteMed GM Vincent Patrick Guerrero, Landbank SVP Liduvino Geron, Landbank president and CEO Alex Buenaventura, Landbank EVP Julio Climaco Jr., and FinTQ managing director Lito Villanueva lead the press launch of TxTMed at the Landbank Plaza in Manila

Photo shows (from left) RiteMed GM Vincent Patrick Guerrero, Landbank SVP Liduvino Geron, Landbank president and CEO Alex Buenaventura, Landbank EVP Julio Climaco Jr., and FinTQ managing director Lito Villanueva lead the press launch of TxTMed at the Landbank Plaza in Manila

Called “TxTMed”, the initiative makes use of the Landbank Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS) as a digital platform to provide borrowers the option to allocate a portion of their approved loan proceeds to purchase medicines.

Said to be a first in the country, the medicine loan service allows employees from the government and private sector with payroll accounts with Landbank, including overseas Filipinos, to electronically order and purchase medicines through their mobile phones without the hassle of outright cash payment.

Although PLDT’s Voyager Innovations is involved in the project as a technology partner, the text-based service is available across all telco providers.

RiteMed, the low-cost subsidiary of Unilab, will offer a range of maintenance medicines at special prices through TxTMed, where medicines will also be delivered for free.

“This partnership with RiteMed and FinTQ attests to the endless possibilities in terms of financial technology and the value of public-private sector collaboration, as we work towards optimizing digital transactions to improve access to quality healthcare across the country,” said Landbank president and CEO Alex V. Buenaventura.

Vincent Patrick Guerrero, general manager of RiteMed, said TxTMed will give local employees access to affordable medicines.

“Through technology and the strong backend support of a financial institution, our fellow Filipinos can now carry the burden of chronic illnesses who need to take medicines for life. According to a study by the Department of Health in 2016, households spend 50% on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses when a member of the family is sick,” Guerrero added.

“This is another first in the world in providing access to healthcare through a digital lending channel. A high-impact initiative that promotes universal health care and social support access among Filipinos even at the grassroots, which is a basic human right,” said Lito Villanueva, managing director of FinTQ.

“The power of digital lies in its ability to address gaps, and we’re confident that the TxTMed service will help bridge access gaps for everyone’s benefit,” Villanueva stressed.

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