Watsons Generics: Improving Lives Of Filipinos One Pill At A Time


A.S. Watsons Group (Philippines)

 
Watsons Philippines was able to help over 1.1Mio patients in the last 9 months since the brand was launched

INTRODUCTION

Guided by the advocacy of Watsons Pharmacy to provide quality healthcare products and services for more than 170 years, in line with the vision of providing access to quality and affordable medicines to every Filipino, and in support to the Philippine Government’s mission to improve the health care condition in the country, Watsons Philippines launched Watsons Generics in 2014. By doing so, the brand helped advance the health of a country where, now, everyone has the option to switch to a more affordable but high quality alternative, and save for a better life. Watsons Generics launched a wide range of vitamins, supplements, OTC and prescription medicines to meet the needs of most Filipinos at prices affordable for all. This will help address the market situation where non-compliance to medicine prescriptions is highly prevalent, with Filipinos prioritizing more basic needs like food and shelter rather than healthcare and medicines.

FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY

To make sure that the brand will cater to the most number of Filipinos, Watsons Philippines conducted a qualitative research study among Users and Non-Users of generic medicines to understand current users thoughts, attitudes, and motivations on generic medicines. Watsons Philippines launched Watsons Generics under the Switch & Save banner – a campaign that was already solidly grounded on quality and savings. This communication strategy involved constantly informing consumers that every tablet or capsule of Watsons Generics carries the Watsons Quality Advantage – a legacy of excellence, as evidenced by its standing as Asia’s No .1 Pharmacy Retail Brand, its more than 170 years of pharmacy experience, and the assurance that each and every molecule is manufactured only by trusted international and local partners.

For the past 10 years, Watsons Philippines was strongly recognized by the local market as a mid to high-end retailer store catering to mostly females aged 20 and above, belonging to Socio-economic class ABC. In line with Watsons’ bold vision of providing access to quality and affordable medicines to every Filipino, and with the objective to become more relevant to a bigger part of the Philippine market including male, older shoppers and those belonging to SEC ABCD, they launched Watsons Generics. They are not only 80% more affordable than leading brands, but also of the highest quality. Watsons Philippines also partnered with AlfaMArt to further ensure that Watsons Generics will reach communities where Watsons stores are not present. This unique distribution strategy ensured that Watsons Generics are accessible to the Class D and E markets.

ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACT

Watsons Philippines was able to help over 1.1Mio patients in the last 9 months since the brand was launched. With the wide variety of Watsons Generics that are 80% more affordable than leading brands, Watsons Philippines was able to help over 1.1Mio patients save a total of Php 376,225,847.00 in the last 9 months since the brand was launched.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Watsons continues to see the need for quality and affordable medicine for the growing number of Filipino consumers. With this, Watsons will be launching additional molecules to cover 90-95% of the most prescribed medicines in the Philippines in 2015. Watsons Philippines will continue to provide value added services such as FREE blood pressure monitoring and FREE doctor’s consultation in Watsons Stores to bridge the gap of doctor and patient engagement. Watsons will also implement a “Patient Management Program” with the main objective to help Filipinos comply with their medicine prescriptions. For greater access, Watsons Philippines will launch a full “Call and Delivery” service where shoppers can order medicines (and other products) and have their orders delivered to their homes. To help Filipinos further understand the advantages of switching to generic medicines, Watsons Generics will continue to work with Philippine Medical Associations and Professionals.
A.S. Watsons Group is the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, with over 11,400 stores operating 13 retail brands in 24 markets worldwide. Watsons is Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, currently operating over 4,500 stores. Watsons continually sets the standards in the health, wellness and beauty market, providing personalized advice and counselling in health, beauty and personal care on top of its market-leading product range, making customers LOOK GOOD, FEEL GREAT every day.