Top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies in Philippines

In the Philippines, nearly 28% of health expenditure comes from pharmacies. Moreover, it lands in 11th place on the list of top pharmaceutical industries in Asia. As for 2020, the pharmaceutical industry generated over $4 billion, and experts believe that it won’t be long before it crosses the $10 billion mark. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that pharmaceuticals are becoming one of the leading businesses in the Philippines. Interestingly, a majority of pharmaceutical companies are located in Metro Manila, an urban region of the Philippines.

Philippines Pharma Cover

Vendiz Pharmaceuticals

Vendiz Pharmaceuticals profile

In 1987, Ashford Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company from Hong Kong, decided to shift its entire operation to the Philippines. To create a firm stronghold in the country, Vendiz Pharmaceuticals Inc. was established. Ashford Laboratories started manufacturing products at this facility to sell them locally as well as internationally. In 1991, Juvencio D. Dizon, Chairman of Vendiz Pharmaceuticals, decided to acquire Ashford Laboratories, resulting in Vendiz Pharmaceuticals becoming entirely a Filipino company. Following this, a new manufacturing facility in Rizal began operation in 1995. Interestingly, Ashford Pharmaceuticals are still being used in association with Vendiz Pharmaceuticals. Juvencio D. Dizon once stated, “my vision for Vendiz is to be one of the leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry by providing world-class customer service, competitive product alternatives, stronger doctor-patient relationships, and growth in career opportunities. Vendiz’s principal mission is to improve the lives of the Filipino people through continuous innovation, quality products, and cost-effective prices.” With its wide range of products targeting specific body parts, it seems Juvencio D. Dizon achieved his dream with this company. Presently, Vendiz Pharmaceuticals produce over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs largely for ears and eyes; but they also have products for bone and skincare. Its annual revenue is $6 million.

Headquarters: Quezon City, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Hypromax Eye Drops and Dizoflox Ear Drops

Aspen Philippines

Aspen Philippines profile

While the name of this company contains the word “Philippines” in it, it was established in South Africa under the name of Lennon Limited. Originally, Grey Lennon, a chemist from Ireland, opened his pharmacy in the Cape of Good Hope in 1850. During this time, Lennon started producing medicines from scratch to cater to the needs of patients, and by the end of 1858, his products were making the news for quality and effectiveness. Another event that popularized Lennon’s medicines was his mention on the cover of the first South African medical journal. Finally, Grey Lennon decided to establish his brand in the form of a pharmaceutical company and founded Lennon Limited in 1898. Since then, the company expanded its business network in 150 countries around the world, and finally, in 2012, it was introduced to the Philippines. Interestingly, it was the first South African pharmaceutical company to enter the Filipino market. For marketing purposes, the name was changed to Aspen Philippines Incorporated. Surprisingly, it was initiated with a single employee, as the company relied on machines and robotics to carry out most of its production; however, currently, over 100 local employees are working for this company. Moreover, Aspen Philippines is often listed among the Top Ethical Pharma Marketing Companies in the Philippines. As for their products, Aspen Philippines produces drugs for cardiovascular disease, infections, women’s health, oncology, and thyroid disorders.

Headquarters: Taguig, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Ovestin and Diprivan


Merck & Co. Profile

Merck is an American pharmaceutical giant that was established in 1668; however, the original founding place of this company is Darmstadt in Germany. When the owners, the Merck family, decided to migrate to the United States, they decided to continue their pharmacy business in the United States. Interestingly, despite pharmaceutical companies being introduced during that time, the Merck family continued operating their pharmacy business until 1827. By then, they had generated enough money to invest in the production of medicines, thus, Merck Pharmaceuticals company was established. In those times, there were selective medicines available, and among all of those, morphine was quite popular to treat ailments. Within a decade of its launch, Merck was considered being the best producer of morphine. Curiously, Merck was also among the first companies to introduce cocaine to the world, and surprisingly, as an energy enhancer. In the mid-1900s, it also became the first company to synthesize vitamins. Presently, Merck has manufacturing facilities in 66 countries, and it was established in the Philippines in 1977. In the Philippines, Merck not only produces medicines for oncology and neurology but also acts as a biotech company. Moreover, its research and development division constantly works to innovate the ways how medicines are produced and how they treat diseases. As for their biotech division, it is presently working with CRISPR. It is composed of Cas-9 and RNA enzymes that allow scientists to edit or cut and bind particular DNA sequences, respectively. It is also enlisted on Philippine Stock Exchange.

Headquarters: Taguig, Metro Manila

Popular Product: Keytruda


Pfizer  Profile

1849 marks the year of Pfizer’s incorporation by Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart, two cousins. Pfizer’s first product was santonin, a drug used to treat parasitic infections. In 1880, it began the production of citric acid, which proved highly beneficial, and just before the end of the 19th century, Pfizer made $3 million in revenue. While the company originally started in 1849, Pfizer Philippines was established in 1954 with just 9 people, and they started working with Metro Drug Corporation. Despite being an already established company, Metro Drug Corporation only had three people in its sales department. In 1957, Pfizer opened its manufacturing plant in Makati City, and this plant was in operation for over two decades. In 1967 and 1971, the company launched two important medicines, Vibramycin and combantrin, respectively. The acquisition of Pharmacia Corporation by Pfizer was conducted in 2000, and in 2018, Pfizer merged with GlaxoSmithKline.

Headquarters: Makati, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Viagra, Zoloft, and Lipitor

Cathay Drug

Cathay Drug profile

Cathay Drug Company was established by Yao Shiong Shio in 1952, and it began life as an exclusive distributor of both human and animal medicines produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme. It continued this practice until 2000 before transitioning to producing pharmaceutical drugs. While Cathay Drug conducts business with other pharmaceuticals in different countries, they primarily focus on selling their products within the Philippines. Presently, they offer injectables, inhalers, oral suspensions, and dermatology products. Moreover, it ranks second in the pharmaceutical companies’ ethical practices list. In addition to manufacturing pharmaceuticals, it also publishes articles on its website to educate the public on various diseases and medicines. Cathy Drug Company also has a program in which it trains inidivudals in the field of medicine.

Headquarters: Makati, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Clipax and Humer


Unilab profile

Two friends, Jose Y. Campose and Mariano K. Tan, opened a drugstore in 1945 under the name of United Drug. After almost a decade of selling medicines, two had saved enough money to establish a manufacturing plant in 1953, and it was called United Laboratories. Following that, in 1961, Far East Drug Corporation was established by Unilab in Singapore, which opened its doors to the international market. Since then, Unilab has expanded its business network to numerous countries and has launched many divisions. Presently, it sells a wide range of products from allergy medicines to vitamins. Giving back to the community has always been a big part of Unilab. It provides subsidies on its products, as the people at Unilab believed that it is the right of every Filipino to be healthy.

Headquarters: Mandaluyong City

Popular Products: Bioflu and Enervon

Raquel-Abbas Pharmaceuticals

Raquel-Abbas Pharmaceuticals profile

Although Raquel-Abbas Pharmaceuticals started its journey as a pharmaceutical distributor, it is presently one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines. Moreover, it is considered one of the best pharmaceutical distributors in the Philippines. In 2005, Ghulam Abbas and Raquel Rara Mughal founded this company, and during that time, it was run exclusively by these two individuals. It received approval to import medicines in 2007, and in 2009, it became certified by ISO Pakistan. Presently, Raquel-Abbas Pharmaceuticals manufactures its own products. In addition to the distribution of medicines, it also outsources some of its operations. In 2016, the company began one of its most successful divisions, i.e., food supplements. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, along with many other institutions.

Headquarters: Parañaque, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Ketorobas and NiteAid

Prosel Pharma

Prosel Pharma profile

Prosel Pharma was incorporated in 1983, and during the initial years of its business, Prosel Pharma sold pharmaceutical products manufactured by companies like Smith Kline and Lopharm. Seeing the increasing demand for certain products, Prosel Pharma saw a business opportunity, and in 1994, its first manufacturing plant was opened with only 4 employees. Primarily, Prosel Pharma produces vitamins and supplements.

Headquarters: Capitol Site, Cebu City

Popular Products: Nervex and Klix


Natrapharm profile

Rudi T. Runes is the founder of Natrapharma; however, before establishing this company, he worked for Nattermann, a German pharmaceutical company, and helped them operate in the Philippines. He began working for Nattermann in 1970 and gained essential skills for 20 years. Finally, he opened Natrapharm in 1990. Initially, the focus of the company was on generic pharmaceuticals, but it soon shifted to the manufacturing of products used in hospitals. It incorporated a distribution system in 1999 for an efficient supply of its products.

Headquarters: Parañaque, Metro Manila

Popular Products: IMAX and Somanize

JM Tolmann Laboratories

JM Tolmann Laboratories profile

JM Tolmann Laboratories not only produces its pharmaceutical products but markets and distribute medicines of other brands as well. In the past, both the marketing and manufacturing were done under a single division; however, the Board of Directors decided to create two individual divisions for the mentioned purposes.

Headquarters: Quezon City, Metro Manila

Popular Products: Calcifirst and Cefixime

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