Generika, beyond business and competition

Generika President and CEO Dino Francisco

By Nazarene A. Leyco
Published online by the Business Mirror, September 19, 2019

Generika Drugstore has become not only the champion but also the cornerstone of the retail drugs industry in the country over the last decade, leading the movement in introducing highly affordable drugs with the same clinical care, efficacy and safety for all the Filipino people.

As it gears for brighter and successful years ahead, Generika goes beyond the common goal of acceptance and availability of affordable but quality medicines, and now seeks to provide a total health care for all Filipinos.

Though it may seem a Herculean task for the entire organization, Generika would like to reach out to Filipinos who are in the far ends of the country, and need access to affordable and quality medicines while, at the same time, help the government in taking care of the health and well-being of every Filipino.

Since Generika has a strong alliance—AC Health, which has been on top of everything since 2015—the goal of building a synergistic ecosystem that links every patient to a seamless health-care experience is making it happen in areas where they matter especially with FamilyDOC, a new chain of community-based primary care clinics, that is providing communities with doctors for their immediate health services.

“While there is a huge market, of course, in the key cities like NCR, we want to tap provincial cities also. We still want to make ourselves available and present in rural areas because we believe also that once we take care of these communities, our country will be better, too,” said Generika President and CEO Dino Francisco.

Generics medicines are usually priced at 70 percent to 80 percent more affordable than the branded medicines, however, the sad truth is most of us don’t really appreciate the contribution of generic medicines in our household.

Sharing his insights on this, “We want to think that Generika is the silent partner of every household in budgeting their income. Imagine, if you are spending at least P5,000 for your maintenance every month for branded medicines, when you buy generics, you can save up to 80 percent that is P4,000. This amount could go a long way, it could be used to pay other bills or for food,” Francisco said.

Generika started 16 years ago with a vision to provide every household access to affordable and quality generic medicines and, ever since, the company has never, in any way, been swayed to walk away from this vision. Since its inception, Generika has been very aggressive in its information education campaign to raise awareness about generic medicines, and as it grew, Generika is even reaching the far-flung areas in the country, which other drug companies don’t want to tap.

Though it may seem ambitious and silly, Generika has successfully grew its number close to 900 branches all over the country, a large majority of which is distributed strategically in Greater Metro Manila but before a new decade begins, Generika Drugstore is hoping to open at least 100 more branches, especially in the provinces to bring its count to a thousand and widen its areas of coverage.

Expansion for any player in the industry seem auspicious at this moment as the generic drugs industry is at a high level of marketplace competition now with prices of medicines continues to dive. The development of more generics over the years also contributed to the expected dive of generic drugs, making them more attractive than ever to consumers who are on a budget.

Competitors have capitalized on this to make more profit, Generika, on the other hand, sees this progress as an opportunity to better its service to the publics. The success it has gained over the years has evolved the entire organization into a more service-oriented enterprise rather than a money-raking entity. While it recognizes the fact that it still needs to make an income as it pays thousands of employees, but its not putting a premium on the wholistic care and services it can provide to the customers.

As it celebrates its 16th anniversary this month, executives of Generika vowed to expand by saturating the country with more outlets and offer quality affordable medicines with the same clinical benefits one gets from an expensive or branded medicine.

“Regardless of whose administration we are in, we have our sights on long-term goals to truly serve the public, especially the poor people, the most important thing is determining where we can we help them and the nation at large,” Francisco stressed.

He admitted that while Generika and the rest of competition strive hard to demystify wrong connotations about generic medicines, there is still that reluctance and distrust in the clinical value from certain segments in the market that creates a gap between them.

This gap is specifically extant in the communities in the provinces where there is lack of access to health care in terms of doctors, medicines and medical services.

With the expansion that Generika hopes to achieve, it does not only seek availability of affordable, safe and effective drugs for all ages, but a complete health care that comes with professional services, facilities and continuous education.

“One of the continuous challenges is the education, second is acceptance of generic medicines. We need to be consistent on acceptance, and you can’t separate education from acceptance,” Francisco said.

Francisco explained that every time a patient is prescribed with 500 grams paracetamol by his or her physician, the patient would almost automatically assume that it is an expensive brand.

To hurdle this widespread obstacle in the industry, Generika, as part of its education campaigns, is creating awareness to its customers through Generics Awareness Talks conducted by its pharmacists.

Generika also intends to capitalize on the wonders of digital technology and make its presence felt online. The company was the first drugstore chain in the country to offer electronic gift check for medicines called the “MEDPadala.”

“Another part of the innovation we have implemented is the Generika loyalty program known as Mobile GeneriKard, which hopefully will transform us into a leader in loyalty program using mobile devices or gadgets, which allows our customers to earn points for their medicine purchase even without the physical card,” Francisco quipped.

With numerous programs, innovations and developments to give its customers better services, Generika is still looking at releasing new products for its house brands—Actimed and Nutrawell.

“Actimed Generics is our house brand for chronic illnesses, maintenance medicines, prescription and we have the OTC [the over-the-counter drugs]. Nutrawell, on the other hand, are food supplements. It’s not for therapeutic care but it is something to aid the patient to enhance the well-being of the person. We have, for this house brand some vitamins, food supplement that are organic, natural. Probiotics is one of the perfect examples,” Francisco expounded.

He added that one of the utmost concern of the Generika is the safety, comfort and convenience of their customers, and to assure their loyal patrons, the Generika has been renovating its stores to its new look with wider and better customer service or selling area.

“We don’t want our customers worry about other things, so we make sure that all of our stores have a selling area wherein they can securely and safely transact their purchases,” Francisco stressed.

On top of all these, Generika Drugstore reiterated its beliefs that affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines should be available to every human being and made them to understand the kind of drugs they are buying and taking in at the same time, and the choices available in the market.

Furthermore, to reward its loyal patrons, Generika Drugstore, for its 16th anniversary Generika will be holding a simultaneous Nationwide Libreng Konsulta. Aside from the Libreng Konsulta, Generika will be giving away two Volkswagen Santana sedans, 13 motorcycles and 13 Sodexo GCs worth P5,000 each for its 16th Anniversary Promo.

This article is originally published by the Business Mirror which can be accessed online at https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/09/19/generika-beyond-business-and-competition/

 

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