Mercury Drug is more than just a pharmacy - it is the country’s trusted and caring health and wellness partner, providing the widest range of branded and generic medicines, as well as a complete line of healthcare and personal care products, including medical devices, and basic everyday needs. Through the years, Mercury Drug has opened store after store all over the Philippines to bring medicines within easy reach of its customers. Today, it has grown into a vast network of more than 1,000 stores nationwide with over 12,000 employees, who are continuously trained on product knowledge and customer service, to ensure that customers "have what you want, when you want it, where you want it, how you want it."
Mercury Drug began from a bottle of sulfathiazole considered a wonder drug at that time for all maladies which was sold by piece or "tingi-tingi" in the sidewalks of Bambang St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.
It was 1945, and Manila had just been liberated from the Japanese occupation. The city was devastated and medicines were scarce and expensive. Mariano Que, who worked in a drugstore before the war, saw the need. He went to Bambang St., Manila, where the action was then, on advice of a friend, and saw a peddler selling sulfathiazole there. He recognized it as the ‘wonder drug’ believed to cure all diseases. Seeing a ‘W’ on the tablets, he knew it was the genuine sulfathiazole. He tried to buy a bottle for P100, the only money in his pocket.
The peddler wanted more but as Mariano Que had only P100, the peddler agreed to sell to him. He then sold these tablets by piece or “tingi-tingi” to make the medicine more affordable. With some profit, he was able to purchase other medicines and eventually a pushcart, which he loaded with his growing supply of pharmaceutical goods.
From these humble beginnings, the first Mercury Drug store opened on March 1, 1945 in Bambang St.
Mercury Drug takes pride in the introduction of many firsts in the pharmacy retail business -- all in an effort to satisfy, please and further serve the people.
It pioneered customer delivery service in 1948 and longer hours of service, with a 17-hour service introduced in 1952 that evolved into the 24-hour service in 1965. Today, more than 100 Mercury Drug stores are open 24 hours.
It introduced the self-service concept in drugstore selling in 1963 at its first Makati City store, which is today the model for all Mercury Drug stores to ensure customer convenience.
In 1967, it installed a central computerized temperature-controlled warehousing system; and in 1969, biological refrigerators in all its stores to preserve vaccines and other life-saving medicines.
In 2000, Mercury Drug introduced a rewards system for its loyal customers through its Suki Card that enables customers to earn good-as-cash points every time they purchase. This was followed by mercuryTV in all its stores in 2002 to provide ‘daily doses’ of health education to customers.
In 2003, Mercury Drug launched its giant electronic billboard (mEB), an outdoor health education and public service, in its Quiapo store. It also introduced Gamot Padala offering customers various options to have their orders served -- Call Order Pick-up, Order Online and Order Anywhere Pick-up Anywhere -- in any Mercury Drug store nationwide. Pharmacy counseling in-store or call-in service was made available in 2011 to help customers with their medication queries.
In 2012, it opened its first drive-thru pharmacy service in its San Juan City Greenhills Ortigas store, followed by another one at its Biñan City Southwoods Ecocentrum store in 2014.
A third drive-thru service opened in Makati City EDSA Danlig in 2015 and in 2016, another one opened in Las Piñas City Villar SIPAG.
In 2015, Mercury Drug launched its own mobile application to enable fast, easy and convenient access to its services.
Indeed, Mercury Drug has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Bambang St., Sta. Cruz, Manila. In the years to come, its spirit of service continues to help keep the nation healthy.
In recognition of Mercury Drug’s contributions to business and to the growth of the pharmacy retail industry, the company has been awarded and cited by various sectors.
It has been named "Retailer of the Year" by the Business Writers Association of the Philippines in 1964, "Marketing Company of the Year" by the Philippine Marketing Association’s Agora Awards in 2004, "Outstanding Filipino Retailer" by the Philippine Retailers Association in 2004, "Outstanding Retailer of Pharmaceutical Products" by the Consumers Union of the Philippines in 2005, as well as "Outstanding Filipino Retailer-Hall of Fame" by the Philippine Retailers Association in 2005. It has also been consistently awarded by Retail Asia-Pacific as one of the top performing retail companies in the Asia-Pacific region from 2004.
In 2014, Retail Asia presented Mercury Drug with the "Best-of-the-Best" Award, in recognition of its business performance, value proposition, corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, core competencies/competitive advantages, and business strategy.
For the second consecutive year, Mercury Drug was named 2015 "Best-of-the Best" at Retail Asia's Top 500 Awards. In the same event, Mercury Drug also retained its Top 3 ranking in the Top 10 Retailers' category by Economy, a distinction which the company has received since 2004.
The Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 ranking was launched in April 2004 as the industry’s first regional ranking of the top 500 retail companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Researched by Euromonitor International on a yearly basis, the ranking covers 14 key economies and 10 retail formats. The ranking of the 500 companies is published in Retail Asia magazine, a publication of NCYU Media Pte Ltd, the regional leader in the retail information business.
Mercury Drug is also the 2015 Country Winner of the Customer Service Excellence Award given by the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Association (FAPRA) at the 17th Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE), in recognition of its achievements and major contributions in exemplifying exceptional customer service.
The FAPRA Award is a bi-annual award which honors companies, associations and individuals who have reached outstanding achievements in retail industry in the Asia-Pacific region.
In 2012, Mariano Que was honored as "Father of Philippine Health and Wellness Retailing" by the Philippine Retailers Association, "for being the pioneering spirit behind health and wellness retail industry and for spurring an industry that ensures that high quality medicines are always available within reach of Filipinos, regardless of age or economic class."
In 2015, Mariano Que was conferred the honorary degree, Doctor of Humanities, by the University of Santo Tomas, for being the pioneering spirit behind the pharmaceutical retail industry in the Philippines and in recognition of his deep involvement in philanthropy and various advocacies.