The global success of the SIMpill medication adherence system is not just due to good trial results – it tells a story of a visionary outsource partnership between South African electronic development and manufacturing group Tellumat and the globally-connected SIMpill brand.
Rasheed Hargey, CEO of the Tellumat Group, says the companies acted with vision early on in the partnership, exporting the successful TB-combating SIMpill to the US, UK, Canada and The Netherlands, where it consistently returned 90% drug adherence in trials.
SIMpill then challenged Tellumat's globally-recognised technological expertise to develop the SIMpill SMART, a version 2.0 that could be used to boost drug adherence in other chronic diseases.
The marketing opportunities of broader application took the system to yet more countries, where it is winning awards and wowing stakeholders across the healthcare value chain in more trials and pilots.
Brendan Rens, MD of SIMpill, recounts that SIMpill UK was originally the UK and European distributor of what started out as a South African brand and product. "But we saw the global potential early on and took a 75% stake in order to give the product global backing and impetus."
The company retained Tellumat for the continued development and manufacturing of the SIMpill range.
"Tellumat was involved in the early development of the SIMpill Medication Adherence Solution, and we felt it was natural to continue the partnership with them," says Rens. "For further development we needed someone of their standing in the global manufacturing space, their expertise and obviously their knowledge of the SIMpill system and business, having driven its past successes."
Tellumat boasts a strong engineering skills base and experience in full-service electronic manufacturing.
In the 10 years since its inception, Tellumat has finished development of nine key product families, including a software-definable microwave radio; the country's first all-in-one GSM payphone; the SIMpill system; and Tellumat Defence's Identification – Friend or Foe product and system portfolio.
"Tellumat is an exciting company to work with," says Rens. "It is committed to their partners, is very professional and, most importantly, strongly believes in us and in the product."