How To Set Up A Pharmacy In Nigeria

This is a step to step guide on how to set up a pharmacy in Nigeria.

Running a pharmacy in Nigeria can be a very profitable business venture. The fact is that, in Nigeria, the demand for drugs is currently on a steady increase. A good way to tap into this is to own a pharmacy.

This article is aimed at showing you how to start a pharmacy in Nigeria. I would like to focus on the steps for starting a fully legitimate pharmacy according to the requirements stipulated by the Pharmaceutical Council Of Nigeria (PCN).

The professional pharmacies categorize pharmacies into two.

First is the hospital pharmacy which is usually found in hospitals. This type of pharmacy is mainly set up to cater for the immediate needs of patients in the hospital. They are usually stocked up with very rare and highly controlled drugs.

Secondly are the community pharmacies. These are the ones that you will find outside the hospital premises. They usually provide drugs for the general public.
For the sake of the professionals, the pharmaceutical stores that we will be referring to in this article are the community pharmacies.
It is quite unfortunate that in Nigeria where the majority of the people can only afford and patronize government owned hospitals,  the
hospital pharmacies are largely under stocked.

Fortunately,  the operators of community pharmacies have been able to make important lifesaving drugs available to the general public.  
In Nigeria,  the sale of drugs through pharmacies is highly regulated and monitored by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN). There are two accepted ways to start a pharmacy in Nigeria.

Starting Under a Franchise
One way to start a pharmacy in Nigeria is to set it up under an already registered and fully accredited franchise. This will involve you going into partnership with someone who has already been established in the business.

The major advantage of starting through this route is that you do not get to go through the rigors of the registration process laid out by the regulating body. Another plus is that people will tend to patronize your shop because it is registered under
an already trusted name.

All that is required is to put in your capital into the already thriving business and keep to the laid down agreement as stipulated by the franchise owner.

It is worthy to note here that the various franchise owners have their different requirements that must be met before you can be allowed to open your pharmacy under their name. It is advised that you do a proper research before deciding on the franchise you intend to start under.

Starting Your Own
If you do not fancy starting your pharmacy under a franchise,  you can start one on your own. This however means that you will have to go through all the compulsory registration processes as stipulated by the Pharmaceutical Council Of Nigeria (PCN).

The only group of people that have the legal right to set up a pharmacy in Nigeria are trained pharmacists. This is because as far as setting up
a pharmacy goes, the PCN only deals with certified pharmacists.

However, if you are interested in this business and you have capital,  a work around is to employ a qualified pharmacist who will be responsible for the registration and day to day running of the business,  or go into a partnership with one.

After deciding on the most convenient way for you to set up your pharmacy, the next step is for you to  put the necessary structures on ground. Below are the few steps that will assist you in setting up your pharmacy.

  1. Register Your Business

    For your pharmacy to be regarded as legitimate, you will need to register it appropriately with the regulating bodies. First of all,  you will need to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a business entity.
    Secondly, you will also have to register it with the Pharmaceutical Council Of Nigeria (PCN). The
    PCN has the sole responsibility of monitoring and regulating the activities of all pharmacies in Nigeria.

They stipulate the minimum requirements that must be met before any individual can be permitted to run a pharmacy.

  1. Select a Good Location
    In selecting the location of your pharmacy,  there are two things that you will need to put into consideration.
    First, you have to be sure that the location has been approved by the PCN. Due to the sensitive nature of drugs, the PCN will have to inspect your proposed premises and then give the go ahead before you can proceed.
    Secondly, you have to consider the profitability of your proposed location. It is important that you locate your pharmacy in a busy area that is also accessible to your potential customers.

One good place to locate a pharmacy is very close to large government owned hospitals. This is
because sadly, the government hospitals hardly have the required drugs in their pharmacies.

  1. Secure Your Supply
    One of the most important things that will determine the success or failure of your pharmacy is the steady and constant supply of drugs. It will help a great deal if you have a good relationship with reliable and genuine wholesalers of drugs.

This will ensure that you always have a steady supply. You also have to ensure that your suppliers are indeed genuine. This is because there are currently very strict penalties for dealing in fake or substandard drugs.

Your best bet is actually to get your supply directly from the pharmaceutical companies.

  1. Raise The Required Capital
    The capital that will be needed will largely depend on scale that you intend to start off with. Do well to ensure that you have enough money for your rent and fittings, registrations, stock and other bills.

  2. Hire Qualified Staff

    You probably will not be able to run the business on your own. If you are not a trained pharmacists,  then you will need to hire one who will assist you.

You might also hire other staff such as clerks, store keepers, and as you deem necessary.

  1. Advertise

    Endeavor to use all means possible to let the world know about your business. An important way of advertising is to ensure that your staff render good service,  and they are courteous.

Satisfied customers will not only come back, the will also tell others about your business.

Source: InfoGuide Nigeriaail


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