Teodoro L. Ferrer: Game changer providing Pinoys quality affordable medicines for 15 years

Good things happen to those who put others first before themselves. And this is true for Generika’s cofounder and Generika Group of Companies chairman Teodoro L. Ferrer.

Just like any one who was about to retire from a fruitful and successful career, Ferrer contemplated on what business to put up when he finally leaves the corporate world. He has the expertise and resources to set up a small real-estate business and at the same time do some farming in his hometown in Zamboanga. But the universe had already connived even before he reached his retirement for a better and noble venture.

The noble cause

It all started with an advocacy work, which serves the less-fortunate people by providing livelihood projects. Julian Belo, a French guy who’s been doing social and civic projects in different poor areas in the country, approached him to join his foundation. Acknowledging all the good things he’s been blessed with and the desire to pay it forward, Ferrer, without any qualms, agreed to Belo’s offer.

Though Ferrer was raised in a well-to-do family, charity and service to people were part of their everyday living. His father was a doctor who had a good number of patients from all walks of life and he remembered how his father reached out to his poor patients.

“I remember the doctor’s fee for a check-up at that time was P150 to P200, for his rich patients, he got this fee, but for the poor people who lined up every day in his clinic, he only asked for P2,” Ferrer recalled.

Being exposed to his father’s selfless service to his poor patients, Ferrer might have not realized early on his life that he will be doing the same as his father’s but in a different yet big way.

While helping Belo with his foundation, they have witnessed the immense need of the poor families for affordable medicines. And they realized this need when some of the workers of the foundation got sickly and they’re spending so much for the medicines. Though providing livelihood projects allowed their beneficiaries to have a chance to a better life, the access to effective, safe and affordable medicines will give them a feeling of security when they get sick.

Once again, Belo approached Ferrer and told him that there’s a way to address the issue. Belo said that there are medicines that have the same efficacy as the branded ones but 80 percent to 90 percent cheaper.

“Belo was talking about generic medicines, and this was 15 years ago. Though there’s already the Generics Law, the Filipinos at that time lack knowledge and awareness about generic drugs.”

For the second time, he found himself agreeing to Belo and they started their partnership, which aims to provide the Filipino people access to safe, affordable and quality generic medicines. “Julian and I have no knowledge about pharmaceutical industry but we really saw the need for affordable and quality drugs that’s why we pushed through and established the first Generika Drugstore, and that was in Muntinlupa City.”

With the birth of the first Generika Drugstore, Belo and Ferrer worked hard and made their small company the first to network generic medicines. From one store, which was brought to life because of a dream to give the Filipino people access to quality yet affordable medicines, the Generika Drugstore is now almost 800 branches located strategically nationwide.

15 years of service

From the moment Generika Drugstore opened its first branch in 2004, its campaign to raise better public awareness about generic medicines has always been a part of its mission. And with its solid foundation as a company that envisions empowering the consumers by providing better access to quality affordable medicines, Generika Drugstore became an aggressive innovator in the industry.

With the outstanding background of the people who formed the company and the heart behind its establishment, Generika Drugstore launched several activities that were rooted in serving its patrons.

Concerned about the health of its clients, Ferrer said that the company redefined the Libreng Konsulta that other drugstores do. “Libreng Konsulta is a regular activity in the stores. Anyone who wishes to avail [himself] of the free check-up and the affordable diagnostic tests, which are subsidized by our company, will just have to be at the branch where we are holding the Libreng Konsulta, fill out the form and wait for his turn to be checked by the doctors. This way, we are reaching more people and they will feel that with us they have a partner in taking care of their health.”

Ferrer is also proud of its Gamot Guide, which is a printed instruction on how to take the medicine you bought from Generika. “A lot of people who buy even the over-the-counter medicines do not really know the right way to take the meds they buy, so with this simple guide, I believe Generika is helping our clients in one way or the other.”

Aside from Libreng Konsulta and Gamot Guide, Ferrer considers their Gabay Kalusugan as one of the activities that make them closer to their clients, because of the relationship they build with the community and the knowledge they share to the residents.

“Generika is not just about selling medicines, but it is also about encouraging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. With activities like Zumba, street games, health talks, among others, we want to share to everyone that prevention is better than cure,” he stressed.

Stronger and better partnership for a more meaningful goal

As the company continues to lead the industry and serve its purpose to assist more people and provide quality affordable medicine and become a reliable health and wellness partner, expansion is the only way to go to realize this goal.

In 2015 Ferrer formed a new alliance, which he himself witnessed and experienced its industry leadership for more than two decades. Ferrer, who was once a part of the Ayala Group, partnered with the AC Health, an Ayala company, and he’s convinced that the blueprint of his vision for the company will be realized with this new partnership.

Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation, and serves as the portfolio company for healthcare businesses. Its vision is to build a synergistic ecosystem that links every patient to a seamless healthcare experience. Its portfolio includes Generika Drugstore, the pioneer in generic retail pharmacies, and FamilyDOC, a new chain of community-based primary care clinics. AC Health is also investing in health technology through its HealthTech arm, Vigos and MedGrocer, an FDA-licensed online pharmacy.

Slowly and meticulously, Generika is continuously launching its house brands that promote preventive health care. To date, Generika has two house brands—Actimed Generics for high-quality and affordable generic medicines, and Nutrawell, its exclusive line of high-quality and affordable food supplements that enable its customers to achieve and sustain a healthier lifestyle.

Generika Drugstore continues to delight its customers by expanding its product offerings, such as medicines, food supplements, personal care, plus more.

For Ferrer, it may take them some time to finally see all the fruits of their labor and the realization of a big dream, but he is content and thankful that Generika was able to launch its own products with superior quality, and the company’s unrelenting growth signifies that he is serving his purpose of bringing generic medicines to the country—to provide consumers quality affordable drugs.

Generika Drugstore currently serves at least 4 million unique customers nationwide and this number is increasing every day. This number only shows that with Generika, “Bububti ka.”

For more information about Generika, visit www.generika.com.ph. You may also like and follow its Facebook page: Facebook.com/Generika.com.ph.

Image Credits: Eleanor Leyco

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