How to Start a Pharmacy Business in Nigeria + BUSINESS PLAN
Pharmacy is defined by concise oxford English dictionary as a place where medicinal drugs are prepared or sold. Pharmacist, interchangeably called chemist is a certified person that engaged in chemical research or experience, authorized to dispense medicinal drugs. Pharmacy or chemist shop is an outlet where drugs are dispensed and sold, and in which toiletries and other medical goods can be purchased. So pharmacy business is a drug retailing business.
There are two types of pharmacy in Nigeria. There is government owned pharmacy and private pharmacy. Government pharmacy, as the name implies, is an establishment that dispense drug owned by the government or their subsidiary, the government hospitals. All government hospitals have a government pharmacy within their premises to dispense medicinal drugs as prescribed for free or at a very subsidized rate.
The other type of pharmacy is the privately owned pharmacy that is established and run by individuals or organizations or private hospitals. These are the conventional stores that we actually call the pharmacy store in Nigeria. It is also called community pharmacy.
Preparation: this is the basics in the plan of setting up your pharmacy. This involves the background study of pharmacy, the market research, feasibility and viability studies, and requirements for pharmacy.
One basic requirement of setting up or owning a pharmacy is to be a pharmacist or employ a pharmacist or partner with a pharmacist. Either way, you must have a registered and certified pharmacist in your pharmacy for it to be functional in Nigeria. You can only deal with the wholesale of drugs if you don’t want to have a pharmacist, you cannot deal in the retail end of the drug market, though you’ll still need a superintendent pharmacist to register with the pharmacist council of Nigeria.
Carry out location study, where you want to set up your pharmacy business. You might want to consider siting your pharmacy close to an hospital so you can get customers from the hospital’s spill of customers( they cannot service all of their clients so they refer them to source the drugs from pharmacy). Another location you can look into is residential area that don’t currently has a medicine store. After you must have done your location study, and you have decided where you will site your pharmacy, you must then find the means for building. A very accessible store would be preferred to a clumsy one. If you are starting the building from scratch, effective planning with experts will ensure the optimization of your space. If you are acquiring either by purchase or transfer, then you will need to go through the process of getting your location approved.
You should also study to know budgets and the capital requirement to start your pharmacy. How much it will cost you to own or rent a facility, how big you want your outlets to be, the cost of your stock, cost of registration and other general expenses. To rent a space can range from #50,000 to #1.5 million naira depending on the location. You will also need to budget for the furniture, to set your outlets functionally, you will definite need to furnish it depending on your capacity and your taste, it might cost from #30, 000 to #1 million naira.
You would also budget for air conditioning, fan, lightning and other accessories which would be between #100,000 to #600,000 naira. You should also have front desk accessories like computer, Point of Sales (PoS), receipt printer, cash register etc. which will cost around #400, 000.
Staffing your pharmacy depends on its size, you will need to employ a pharmacist, attendants, cashier, manager, security guard. One personnel can perform two or more roles as the case may be, e.g. a cashier can be the front desk officer. Ensure your employee knows that apart from medicine, they sell customer service.
You can now go ahead to register your business. You would need the help of an experience personnel to put you through the registration. He will show you the documents required to register at the Corporate Affairs Commission. You will also register with the pharmacist council of Nigeria.it is usually easier for a pharmacist to register with PCN, to save yourself some hassles if you are not a pharmacist yourself, you should employ the service of a superintendent pharmacist. It is the S. pharmacist that will register on behalf of your business. This superintendent can be your business partner or you can employ the service of a separate pharmacist.
The S. pharmacist will notify the PCN registrar in writing through the state office to request for a location inspection. The charge for the inspection is paid to the bank. He then proceeds to register the premises with PCN. Procedures for registration of premises: to register with the PCN, you will need to file in these documents as stated by the PCN website:
- Application for registration of new premises
- Completed forms B and J
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memorandum and Article of Association
- Certified True Copy of Form Co7 showing the name of the Pharmacist Director
- Appropriate fee in bank draft
- Inspection report (From DPS or PIC)
- Current Annual Licence to practice of Pharmacist Director
- Letter of resignation and acceptance of resignation from former employer of Pharmacist it previously employed
- Particulars of first Directors of Company
After the location is approved, you should start putting the premises in proper shape you will what it to be. This include arrangement of cabinets and shelves, departmentalizing your outlet, office space , first aid kit location, fire extinguisher, poison box location etc. to collect the requirements, a token of around
#5000 is usually charged. You will be asked to pay for registration and license, only then can you go ahead to stock your pharmacy and open for business. After registration is completed, you would get a copy of all the documents. The whole process will take between five to nine months.
Stocking your pharmacy is a continuous task and it require lots of commitment. First you should know you represent the drugs you sell, so the quality of the drugs you sell will determine the reliability of your pharmacy, your brand. You would need to be regularly supplied from a trusted supplier and you don’t want to run out of stock before you restock. You must always take the inventory of your stock (either you employ a special person to do that, or you attribute the job description to one of your staff) regularly to ensure you do not under stock, over stock or have expired drugs. Your supply must be approved by NAFDAC and NDLEA. You shouldn’t dispense controlled drugs, illegal drugs, expired drugs and non-prescribed drugs.
Having a pharmacy, well stocked with approved medicine, in a good location and neighbourhood, with an efficient staff that makes customers’ satisfaction their priority and efficient advertisement and marketing skills, is very profitable fetching lots of income for you.
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