Aspiration to bring quintessence of Vietnamese medicinal herbs to the world

Monday, 2021-04-26 10:23:46
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A representative from SAO THAI DUONG receives the National Quality Gold Award at an awards ceremony on April 25, 2021.
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NDO – The Ministry of Science and Technology held a ceremony on April 25 to present the National Quality Award and the Global Performance Excellence Award – (GPEA) 2019-2020.

The National Quality Award is given by the Prime Minister to enterprises with outstanding achievements in improving the quality and competitiveness of products and services. This award takes into account the operational efficiency and integration with regional and world economies of each enterprise.

In 2020, the Prime Minister signed a decision to award the National Quality Awards to a total of 55 enterprises. Among them, 19 businesses were awarded the National Quality Gold Award and 36 others received the National Quality Award.

The Sao Thai Duong Joint Stock Company (SAO THAI DUONG) is one of 19 enterprises that won the National Quality Gold Award. “This year is the first time SAO THAI DUONG has participated in the contest. It is an honour to have received the Gold Award – the highest award in the contest”, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, Deputy General Director of SAO THAI DUONG.

SAO THAI DUONG was established in 2000 by two co-founders, pharmacist Nguyen Huu Thang and master in pharmacology Nguyen Thi Huong Lien. Achieving the National Quality Gold Award has come from the strenuous efforts of SAO THAI DUONG in its 20-year period of growth and development.

After two decades of expansion and development, SAO THAI DUONG has become a leading science and technology enterprise in the field of manufacturing and trading herbal products, including health protection products, traditional and herbal medicines.

SAO THAI DUONG has built up a modern infrastructure with its main office based in Hanoi. Its building in Hanoi has a unique museum to display the precious medicinal herbs of Vietnam. In addition, SAO THAI DUONG has a branch in Ho Chi Minh City and three factories in Ha Nam Province built with a total scale of nearly 3 ha and fully equipped with production lines for medicines, cosmetics, food supplements, bio-products and medical equipment.

SAO THAI DUONG is the first company in Vietnam to meet the GMP ASEAN standards for cosmetics production. SAO THAI DUONG is a pioneering enterprise investing in a system of factories meeting GMP pharmaceutical standards, factories achieving GMP cosmetic, ISO 14000 standard, HALAL certification and FDA certification for export to the US market.

SAO THAI DUONG aims to develop its source of organic medicinal herbs in line with USDA American and European standards. SAO THAI DUONG has invested in a 30 ha area for medicinal plant cultivation in Son La to produce herbal products in a closed process. The company expects to expand the size of the facility to approximate 300 ha by 2025. By applying modern technological production lines and taking raw materials from international standard organic medicinal farms, SAO THAI DUONG is among only a few companies able to produce products meeting the GMP standard.

In recent years, SAO THAI DUONG has been a forerunner in the export of the scientific and technological products of Vietnam, while also conquering scrupulous markets such as the US, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and the UK.

Hundreds of research projects on new pharmaceuticals and cosmetics from Vietnamese herbal sources

Constantly investing in its production expansion, SAO THAI DUONG has focused on its development as an enterprise associated with scientific research. It is striving to be the most significant scientific and technological enterprise in traditional medicine in Vietnam. The company has a strategy to attract talent, employees and staff members to meet its development and expansion needs. SAO THAI DUONG has approximate 1,200 staff members, as well as more than 80 highly educated pharmacists, over 400 pharmacists at pharmacy colleges and about 200 engineers/bachelors students.

SAO THAI DUONG has participated in the national hi-tech development schemes of the Ministry of Science and Technology. With its highly relevant research, SAO THAI DUONG has successfully applied results from research projects to launch product lines with high applicability that are suitable for the market's needs. In 2016, SAO THAI DUONG was certified as a science and technology enterprise, marking a remarkable achievement for its scientific research efforts.

Annually, the company spends 10% of its revenue on research and development. SAO THAI DUONG has carried out hundreds of studies, holding 13 patents. Among them, two inventions won a bronze medal at the Taiwan Innotech Expo in Taiwan (China) in 2019; one took an award at the 2018 Invention Competition hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam.

In the past ten years, the company has been investing in more than 70 pre-clinical research projects using animal experimentation, 21 clinical trials at all levels at seven hospitals in Vietnam, one project as part of the national programme on hi-tech infrastructure development research, and new drugs from medicinal herbs.

This research was mainly about developing new drugs from herbal sources and traditional Vietnamese medicine principles combined with modern pharmaceutical techniques.

Aspiration to bring Vietnamese medicinal herbs’ quintessence to the world

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, with its internal strength, SAO THAI DUONG soon realised the challenges and opportunities arising from the epidemic. The company quickly cooperated in transferring technology, conducting clinical research, producing two sets of medical equipment for diagnosis and detecting the coronavirus named "One step RT-PCR COVID-19 Kit THAI DUONG" and "RT LAMP COVID-19 Kit THAI DUONG". The kits have been provided to the Vietnamese government, contributing significantly to the fight against COVID-19. Over 50,000 RT-PCR test kits and tens of thousands of COVID-19 anti-epidemic products worth over VND20 billion have been promptly distributed to anti-epidemic frontline units across Vietnam.

SAO THAI DUONG's products are not only consumed on the domestic market but have been exported to foreign markets such as the US, Europe and Australia. The company has enjoyed a remarkable growth in revenue. In 2020, its income was twice that in 2017.

With an orientation towards environmental protection, and sustainable development to serve the community and support disadvantaged groups in remote areas, SAO THAI DUONG has initiated the "Bookcase in the Classroom" modes, collecting tens of thousands of quality books from entrepreneurs to send to children in rural and mountainous schools. SAO THAI DUONG has also joined with physicians and doctors in organising lens replacement surgery programmes, bringing the light back to hundreds of elderly people, as well as providing free medical examinations and treatment to thousands of disadvantaged people. SAO THAI DUONG also provides technical guidance on growing and trading medicinal herbs to help increase incomes for rural and mountainous locales.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, SAO THAI DUONG’s Deputy General Director, said: "Since its establishment, SAO THAI DUONG has identified the core of its business as "bringing happiness to everyone". Since then, the company's brand development orientation has always focused on continuous innovation and quality improvement to produce the best products that meet customers' needs. With its made-in-Vietnam products sourced from medicinal herbs, SAO THAI DUONG not only wants to provide Vietnamese people with better quality products but also strives to bring the national herbal essence beyond the borders to our international friends."