On International Standards, Trademark Protection, and Global Success

Background

Paill Laboratories (Paill) is a cutting-edge pharmaceutical company based in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, a country with the third largest pharmaceutical market in Central America. Paill was founded in 1992 and by 1993 the company was producing and commercializing sterile pharmaceutical products with such efficiency and quality that in 1997 it introduced its products to countries in the Central American region.


San Salvador (Photo: Erik Torner)

Research and Development

Paill produces a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription products contained within two broad categories - sterile and non-sterile. Some of its most successful range of sterile goods include parenteral solutions in ampoules and vials – these solutions are injected, not imbibed – ointments and eye-solutions. The Paill plant also manufactures and packages non-sterile products such as tablets, creams, oral solutions, capsules and powders. 

Pivotal to Paill’s success and corporate culture is its astute management of its human and physical assets. 

The company values its employees greatly, believing that human capital is fundamental to maintaining its competitive advantage and progress. Promoting innovation in its research and development (R&D) unit through its ideas-development-program, Paill has over sixty qualified professionals in its laboratories. Using state-of-the art technologies, the company’s staff constantly generates industry-leading drugs and remedies. The quality assurance department, for example, has sophisticated high-precision analytical equipment that performs a variety of tests as required by the industry standard for medical products. 

Paill also recognizes the need to invest in modern R&D infrastructure in order to produce good quality products that attract customers and increase profits. In 2000, the company constructed its second production plant for pharmaceutical products. Its laboratories are now equipped with cutting-edge technology for the formulation, development and improvement of a variety of trademarked pharmaceutical products such Ultra-Neuraxin Anti-Estres – an anti-fatigue and stress remedy; Suero Oral – a dehydration preventative; and Sernox – a drug for gastric and intestinal complaints.

To make sure that the R&D department produces the drugs and products to a standard that industry requires and customers demand, Paill regularly consults suppliers of pharmaceuticals and implements industry standards in order to streamline its supply and demand processes.

The company’s laboratories are equipped for sterile manufacturing and packaging, following strict, industry-made, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) – a quality control system implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) covering the manufacturing and testing of active pharmaceutical products. Part of the company’s Quality Management System is to ensure compliance and implementation of GMP guidelines. Although various companies have different GMPs, minimum requirements exist for all companies. Paill has developed its own GMP guidelines which include having adequate facilities for processes, scheduled self-inspections, and installing an efficient documentation system, all done with the single aim of avoiding errors and cross-contaminations while allowing for the traceability of all processes, and establishing a cycle of quality in all its laboratories.

To gain consumer confidence, enhance its international reputation and maintain competitive advantage over its rivals, Paill has incorporated industry-recognized, international certification standards for its products. 

In 2004 Paill Laboratories became the first El Salvadorian pharmaceutical company to receive ISO 9001certificaton. With ISO standards now integral to its processes, the laboratory offers customers and clients a wide range of certified drugs. Due to its ISO 9001:2000 certification, Paill provides further services as a maquiladora - manufacturing for clients in other countries.

Trademarks

Central to Paill’s corporate philosophy is the knowledge that economic growth and competitiveness is always twinned with innovation. The company understands that giving flight to the imagination creates a spring-board to future success founded on the intellectual property (IP) system. An active user of the IP system, Paill has protected its brands by filing trademark applications in El Salvador and other Central American countries including the Dominican Republic and Panama.

To gain customer brand loyalty while sowing the seeds for future investments and innovations, the company now has a wide range of branded goods in its IP portfolio  including Sudagrip™ - an antihistamine; Novular - a contraceptive, Neuraxin – a multi-vitamin, and Katafenac – an analgesic.

San Salvador (Photo: Jorge Colindres)

IP Management

Recent advances in El Salvador’s IP law enforcement have made for a more effective IP culture that companies such as Paill can rely on. Taking advantage of the country’s new IP environment, the company established its own Department of Health Registration and Intellectual Property responsible for developing and registering Paill’s IP assets.

By frequently using the distinctive signs search services in the Industrial Property Offices of Central America to determine the viability of registering its marks, the company avoids unnecessary IP disputes and financial costs that may occur if it used marks that are in fact already owned by another company.

Collective mark

In order to distinguish Paill’s services and geographical origin while enhancing its competitiveness and international corporate reputation, Pail has developed partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies – to develop collective marks - , and inter-governmental organizations – to raise funds for registering its marks.

In 2008, the company became a founding member of the commercial partnership Affluentes, S.A. de C.V. (Affluentes) - a consortium consisting of five El Salvadorian pharmaceutical laboratories. Affluentes aims to foster collaboration between its members to boost exports of pharmaceutical products – by compiling information on distribution channels and possible competitors, for instance - to the three countries of the Community of the Caribbean (Caricom) - Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

In consultation with  the Agency of Promotion of Exports of El Salvador (IT Exports), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – which distributes civil, foreign aid for the government of the United States of America (USA) – the consortium aims to export pharmaceutical products to Caricom and then to the rest of the continent in subsequent years.

In November 2008, the five companies comprising the consortium began exporting drugs to the new markets in Caricom – Trinadad and Tobago, at first - using a common, distinctive collective mark: Affluentes. The Affluentes mark will represent a joint, solid image reflecting the ambitions and services of the group – convenience, quality, and variety – and their region of origin – Central America.

Partnerships

Paill is also involved in joint-ventures with national government agencies and international partners in order to obtain funds for financing its certification costs, and revolutionize the corporate-government finance relationship in El Salvador.  

Working with the Ministry of Finance in El Salvador through the Directorate of Quality and Technology - la Dirección de Calidad y Tecnología (DCTec) – , the National System of Innovation - el Sistema Nacional de Innovación - and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) – managers across several companies in El Salvador, including Paill, began fermenting a new culture of quality control in the country’s small to medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs). The ISO certifications of Paill laboratories, Fardel and Condusal, for instance, cost US$ 1. 2 million, of which, US$ 700,000 came from the IADB and US$ 400,000 from of the El Salvadorian government.

San Salvador (Photo: Rene Aguiluz)

Licensing

With the increasing freeing-up of the markets in Central and North America, Paill has expanded its business partners and now has license portfolios with thirty-six major clients in the region. Among the company’s distributors are Laaned Edmar in the Dominican Republic, Grupo de Haseth in Panama, Disprofar & CIA LTD in Nicaragua,and others in Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Paill is not only a significant company in El Salvador; its growing market reach is extending right across the Americas. 

Business Results

Due to its extensive IP protection and innovation strategy, investments in human capital and physical assets, collaborations with industrial, governmental and international partners, new vistas of opportunity are opening up for Paill. The company is establishing a firm foothold in the pharmaceutical industry, gaining a reputation for excellent quality among clients and customers, increasing its exports to Central and South America, while laying the foundations for expansion into new markets in the Americas with its branded products protected by trademarks and collective marks and backed by international standards.

In 2002, Paill Laboratories won the WIPO Trophy for Innovative Enterprises.

Today San Salvador, tomorrow the world!

Paill’s successful incorporation of highly-trained staff, investment in infra-structure, industry-leading equipment, creativity-driven programs, internationally recognized standards, and savvy IP strategies, allows the company to continue delivering top quality goods, and stay ahead of its competitors while enhancing its reputation with consumers.