Mercury Drug Business Logo
How did Mercury Drug Started?
From its humble beginnings, Mercury Drug has gone beyond expectations. Shortly after the liberation of Manila from Japanese occupation, Mariano Que, realizing the need of the people for medicines, bought with his hard earned savings of P100 a bottle of 1000 tablets of Sulfathiazole and sold it "patingi-tingi” for P1.00 per tablet in the sidewalks of Bambang, Manila. Sulfathiazole is a wonder drug that cures all during that time.
From pushcart – peddling and with his previous working experience in a drugstore before the war, he eventually opened his first small drugstore in Bambang Street. Mercury Drug has today grown into a vast network of over 700 company-owned and franchised stores nationwide.
Mercury Drug Stores Success
Mercury Drug believes that it owes its success to the millions of customers who have trusted and patronized the drugstore chain all throughout these years. Its feat could also not have been possible without its pool of professional and dedicated staff numbering close to 9,000 today.
As a way of giving back to the people, Mercury Drug vows to bring quality, safe and affordable health-enhancing and life-saving medicines closer to the public. In the first place, it is what the name Mercury Drug stands for. In Roman mythology, Mercury is known as the god of commerce and manual skill. Being the messenger of gods, Mercury needed a winged feet for his swift flights. Mercury Drug remains committed to its name as seen on its corporate philosophy of total and speedy customer service: "To serve you, to have what you want, when you want it.”
Aside from bringing its chain of stores closer to the homes of the people, Mercury Drug has constantly endeavored to reach the hearts of the customers. To achieve this, Mercury Drug has taken pride in the introduction of many firsts in the drug retailing business ---all in an effort to satisfy, please and further serve the people.
Mercury Drug Innovations
In 1945, it opened a drugstore and one of its innovations is to sell "tingi-tingi” or piece by piece to those who could not afford to buy a whole bottle of medicine. Realizing that not everyone could go to the drugstore, Mercury Drug introduced the first motorized customer delivery service in 1948. Four years later, it commenced the 17-hour, 7 days a week drugstore service; in 1963, the country’s first self-service drugstore; in 1965, the 24-hour, 7 days a week service; in 1967, the first computerized temperature-controlled central warehouse; in 1969, the first drugstore chain to use biological refrigerators to preserve life-saving medicines and in 1976, the first drugstore chain to expand throughout Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Mercury Drug believes that quality and life-saving medicines made affordable and accessible are as important today as it was then. Now more than ever, it is committed to introducing enhanced services to better serve the customers farther and wider, whoever and wherever they may be. For instance, Mercury Drug makes certain the availability of less common but life-saving medical products such as serum, blood plasma, albumin and the like that are stored in a Bio-refrigerator. This would require Mercury Drug to invest on modern technology and to continuously upgrade its facilities in its head office, stores and distribution centers. Aside from pharmaceutical products, it now carries basic household necessities such as food, health and personal care products and others for the buying convenience of its customers. It has also incorporated value added facilities and services in many of its drugstores. More and more branches are open on a 24-hour service all days of the week. Aside from consistently complying with the 20% discounts to senior citizens, Mercury Drug has also launched its ”Suki” card, a customer program as a way of expressing gratitude to its loyal customers.
As a drugstore with a heart, Mercury Drug has been conducting "Operation Bigay Lunas” every March 1, on their anniversary day together with its business associates. For the past decade, this annual and all-day free clinic catering to the less-privileged provides medical consultations and free medicines to indigent patients in selected cities and municipalities nationwide. This year alone, it served more than 130,000 beneficiaries in around 63 cities and municipalities.
In 2002, Mercury Drug, in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), has launched a program that has been helping rural and urban marginalized communities nationwide to have access to potable water system within their communities through the Artesian Well Project. The installation of this potable water system helped improved the quality of life of the beneficiaries by promoting better health and sanitation practices.
Mercury Drug Perspectives and its Struggles with the Philippine Government
In 2004, the government stepped up its pressure. In September of the year, the government passed legislation expanding drug discounts for the country's senior citizens. The country's smaller independent drugstore owners protested the decision, in part because it was expected to serve only to increase Mercury's dominance over the market—as the country's largest retailer of pharmaceutical products, Mercury was easily able to negotiate discounted prices from its supplies. Also in that year, President Arroyo established the lowering of drug prices as one of the government's priorities.
In December 2004, the Filipino government announced a new plan to break what some were calling Mercury's "oligopoly" on the country's retail market. The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PICT), owned and run by the Filipino government, announced its intention to organize up to 300 of the country's independent pharmacies into a new network of privately owned and operated drugstores, dubbed "Botika ng Bayan." The new network would then sell drugs, sourced by PICT directly from drug companies, at prices as much as six times less expensive than "market"—i.e., Mercury's—rates.
Despite these pressures, Mercury Drug Corporation remained a fixture on the Philippines pharmacy market. The company also remained one of the Philippines' largest corporations, ranking in eighth place among the country's largest corporations and third place among the corporations in the high-quality services/products bracket. Mercury Drug appeared to have discovered its own "miracle drug" for success.
Mercury Drug Mission Statement
"Continuously be the leading, trusted and caring drugstore."
In the years to come, Mercury Drug will keep on looking for opportunities to further enable customers to have more access to quality, safe and life-saving medicines, thus enabling them to have more meaningful, healthier and longer lives. It will always pursue its commitment to better and further serve its customers whose trust and loyal patronage has allowed Mercury Drug to be of continued service to the nation.
Mercury Drug Official Website: https://www.mercurydrug.com