Mercury Drug Corporation

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The Mercury Drug Corporation, or Mercury Drug, is the leading chain of drugstores in the Philippines that was founded by Mariano Que. The company provides safe and affordable health-enhancing and life-saving medicines to Filipinos.

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Founding of Mercury Drug

Before the World War Two started, Que started his career working in a Manila drugstore. After the war, when the country was scarce in medications because most of the drug stores were destroyed, sulfa drugs, including sulfathiazole were considered as the cure-all drug and were much in-demand.

Que recognized the opportunity and started selling medical vials and capsules in marketplaces. When Que had enough money, he bought a bottle of sulfathiazole tablets and sold them in single dosages. This method of selling, known in Filipino culture as “tingi”, became very popular for the poor.

When his business prospered, Que bought a pushcart and sold an assortment of medicines. While other sellers abused the unregulated market by selling fake and expired medications, and sometimes at exorbitant prices; Que developed a reputation of selling fresh and quality medicines, and fair prices.

In 1945, Que already had regular clients and decided to open a store in Bambang. He named it, Mercury Drug after the Roman god and bearer of the caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession. From then until the early 60s, Que innovated on the drugstore’s operations such as introducing drug delivery service and 17-hour business operations.

In 1963, Que opened the second branch of Mercury Drug in a shopping center in Makati upon the invitation of the Ayala Corporation. In 1965, the third branch opened in [Quiapo]], Manila and became its flagship branch. Mercury Drug continued to improve its facilities such as introducing computer-guided temperature controls and biological refrigerators in branches for life-saving medicines.

In the early 70s, Que expanded its product line by purchasing Medical Center Drug Corporation, which sells pharmaceutical supplies, equipments and surgical instruments. This lead Que to established Mercury Group of Companies, Inc. Over the next decades, the Mercury Group opened Q*10 Convenient store as a competition for 7-11. Her daughter, Vivian Que Azcona’s father-in-law Cezar Azcona, sold the hamburger chain Tropical Hut to her Que.

Awards and recognitions

To date, there are a total of 700 owned and franchised-store all over the country. And while the company has been hit with criticisms for its allegedly high prices, it nevertheless received accolades and awards of all sorts, including "Retailer of the Year" award in 1964 from the Business Writers Association of the Philippines for its innovative service concepts; "Quezon City’s Best in Business" in 1994 from the Government of Quezon City and the Rotary International District 3780; Consumers Union of the Philippines’ "Hall of Fame" Awardee in 1996 for having been awarded as Most Outstanding Pharmaceutical Retailer for 5 consecutive times; "1996 PMAP Award for Outstanding Employer of the Year" from the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines; "Most Outstanding Drug Store Chain" in 1999 from the New Millennium Excellence Award Committee and the Parangal ng Bayan Awards Foundation jointly with the National Consumers Council in recognition of its products/services beneficial to the consuming public.

Suki Card

The Merucy Drug Suki Card is the company’s loyalty/discount card. . For every accumulated purchase worth P200.00 a customer makes, is equivalent to one point. The Suki card earns points and the customer can redeem the points in multiple of 10 points in any of the Mercury branches.

Citi Mercury Drug card

The Citi Mercury Drug card is a co-branding between Citibank and Mercury Drug. Cardholders can enjoy two percent rebate on all Mercury Drug purchases and 05% rebate on non-Mercury Drug purchases. Aside from this, the Citi Mercury Drug card also has merchant partners that allows cardholders to enjoy exclusive discounts. Among these are:

  • Fitness First Clubs - 15% discount on Lifestyle Passport Membership, waived joining fee
  • The Spa – P2,000 off on annual membership fee and P200 off on services worth P1,000 and up
  • Medical City – 10% off on Hospital bills and 5% off on Pharmacy
  • Healthway – Free Annual Physical Check-up package and 20% off on laboratory tests, imaging and ancilliary procedures.
  • Ideal Vision – 20% off on regular items and additional 10% off on sale items

External links

Citation

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