Health and beauty chain Watsons is expanding its generic lines and sources to address 90% of Filipinos’ needs for quality generic medicines.
From 56 types of generics that include paracetamol, dispensary products, vitamins, carbocistine, dietary supplements, and other over-the-counter medicines, the number will increase to 90 or 95 by September this year to cover 95% of commonly used medicines in the Philippines. These additions consist of generics for lowering cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and antibiotics.
Watsons is the only recipient from the Philippines in the Health Promotion Category of the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) presented by the non-governmental organization Enterprise Asia.
“Winning this award is not just a recognition of our efforts but also a challenge for us to further this advocacy in helping improve the health of Filipinos,” says Maria Victoria Encarnacion, Marketing Director at Watsons.
In addition to the growing number of generic medicines, Danilo Chiong, Watsons Trading Health Director, said Watsons is also embarking on expanding the number of its stores at a rate of 50 new stores every year.
From 434 stores, Encarnacion said they hope to open 30 more in the next coming months to make customers aware of their messages.
Chiong claims that majority of their stores are mall-based but not necessarily at SM malls only. Watsons stores are also situated in other malls like Robinsons and Starmall. He also said they should put up stores in cities outside Metro Manila. Watsons will open a new store at Robinsons in Antique, and also in Zamboanga and Misamis.
The company also plans to put up stand-alone stores to carry pharmaceuticals and some beauty products.
Aside from product and store expansions and quality assurances, Watsons is also offering its customers up to 80% savings in their generic lines compared with leading brands.
To assure of carrying quality generics and promote responsible entrepreneurship, Watsons currently has more than 10 suppliers of their products which are subjected to a five-quality assurance process that meets international standards.
“Our generic medicines are produced by trusted partners. All these go through screening process and a third party audit. These methods on top of Philippine regulatory agency standards assure consumers that they are purchasing high quality products,” said Chiong.
All generic medicines carried by Watsons have passed the regulatory requirements of local and international quality assurance agencies. Medicines are registered with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), passed bioequivalence test and produced by facilities with certificates of Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP).
“For more than 170 years, Watsons has been providing health and wellness products to its customers worldwide. We are excited to do the same in the Philippines by allowing Filipino families to take charge of their health without the fear of financial burden,” says Encarnacion.
Watsons has partnered with AlfaMArt to further ensure that Watsons Generics will reach communities where Watsons stores are located. This distribution strategy makes Watsons accessible to the Class D and E markets.
Meanwhile, Watsons was recognized for its campaign “Watsons Generics: Improving Lives of the Filipinos One Pill at a Time” during the Enterprise Asia’s AREA awards held on June 19, 2015 in Macau.
Often dubbed the “Nobel Prize for Sustainability,” the AREA honors Asia businesses that champion sustainable and responsible business practices, demonstrate companies’ leadership, sincerity and on-going commitment in incorporating responsible and ethical values, compliance, respect for people and individuals, involvement in communities and protection of the environment into the way they run their business.