How to Set up a Pharmacy in Nigeria

In Nigeria, pharmacies are some of the most visited places, because there are always people in ill health. Those people need medication and inturn they create business for Pharmacies.This article will serve as a guide on how to set up a pharmacy in Nigeria.

Pharmacy

A pharmacy is a retail shop which provides pharmaceutical drugs, among other products. At the pharmacy, a pharmacist  oversees the fulfillment of medical prescriptions and is available to counsel patient about prescription and  over-the-counter drugs or about health and wellness issues. A typical pharmacy would be in the commercial area of a community.

Starting a retail drug store in Nigeria can be an extremely beneficial business venture. This is because in Nigeria, people fall ill on a daily basis which has seen the increase for the demand for life saving medications.To take advantage of this business idea, you have to legally own a drug store in Nigeria. It is quite unfortunate that in a country like Nigeria where most people can only afford government owned hospitals, these hospital pharmacies are mostly under stocked. Hence, the operators of community pharmacies in Nigeria deemed it fit to make these drugs available to the public.

Types of pharmaceutical store in Nigeria

There are two types of drug store in Nigeria and they are:

1. Community pharmacies

A community pharmacy is a pharmacy that deals directly with people in the local area. It has responsibilities including compounding, counseling, checking and dispensing of prescription drugs to the patients with care, accuracy, and legality. A community pharmacy has appropriate procurement, storage, dispensing and documentation of medicines.

2. Hospital pharmacies

This type of pharmacy are found in hospitals and clinics and are usually stocked up with different drugs to cater for the immediate needs of patients in hospitals.

Not every can open a drug store in Nigeria. This is because the sale of every drug in pharmacies are usually regulated and monitored by the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN).

There are two legal ways to open a pharmacy in Nigeria and they are;

A. Starting a drug store under a franchise

A way to start a pharmacy store in Nigeria under franchise is to go into a partnership with someone who has a registered pharmaceutical business. The benefit of starting a retail drug store using this method is that you will not pass through the difficult registration processes of opening a pharmacy in Nigeria as stipulated by the regulating body, PCN. All you need do in this method is to put in your capital and keep to the agreement of the partnership.

B. Starting a retail drug store on your own

If you do not like the idea of starting your pharmacy under a franchise, you can open it on your own. The only difficulty here is that you would have to register your drug store as stipulated by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PCN). Also, only trained & certified pharmacists have the legal right to set up a pharmacy in Nigeria. If you have the capital and want to venture into this business, you would have to employ a qualified pharmacist or go into partnership with one.

How to Set up a Pharmacy in Nigeria

Guide on How to Start a Pharmacy/Drug Store in Nigeria

1. Register Your Business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and PCN

Just like any other business, you would need to register your pharmacy to be legal,you will need to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a business entity and also with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN).

The PCN stipulates the minimum requirements that must be met before any individual can be permitted to run a pharmacy.

2. Find a Good Location

In selecting a location for your pharmacy, there are two things that you will need to note. First, you have to get your location approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PCN) and secondly, you would need to consider how profitable the location is to your pharmacy business.

You need to also consider how easily accessible your pharmacy shop will be to your customers. The best place to locate a pharmacy is near a government owned hospital, since they hardly have the required drugs prescribed for patients.

3. Source for the required capital

You have to carry out a feasibility study on this cause, carry out your research so that you will find out the capital that will be needed to start off your own drug store. This will solely depend on the kind of scale you intend to start with.

4. Find a Credible Supplier

This is an important factor that will determine how the business will fare. You would need a steady supply of registered drugs which will be placed on the shelf for display to customers that are willing to patronize you. Find a credible supplier and build a good relationship with such supplier. If it is a wholesaler, the better. Be careful to only display drugs that have been dully registered by NAFDAC and NDLEA so as not to be found wanting with the law.

5. Employ competent staff

If you are going to run a mega pharmacy store, its best you hire qualified staff that will assist you. As earlier said if you are not a trained pharmacist, employ one that have the idea of the functions of the drugs and how to prescribe such drugs to your customers.

6. Publicize your pharmacy business

Once you have successfully opened your drug store, you would have to advertise your business to people to see through posters, online advertising, newspaper advert and many more. Always try to keep your customers satisfied so that they would always patronize you.

Conclusion

Finally, It is also advisable to draw up a business plan before you start a pharmacy in Nigeria as this will help you in planning how the business would fare on the long run.

Fisayo James
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