Owning A Profitable Community Pharmacy Business

So many people ask the question, “Is owning a pharmacy profitable?”. However, the answer to this question is very simple and straightforward. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, The most basic need of man is the physiological needs which is the biological requirements for human survival, e.g. air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep, Drug. Therefore, man seek first to satisfy these basic needs.

In that case, People are willing to pay anything to stay alive. They may grumble or get irritated but will still pay for the product. Consequently, Owning a pharmacy business is a market that can never cease to be profitable.

Secondly, the Patent Medicine Store popularly known as Chemist Store is phasing out in Nigeria. Nigerians, tend to understand now the difference between a pharmacy store and a chemist store. Therefore, there is more pressure on Pharmacists to meet up with the drug demand of the populace.

Interestingly, Owning a pharmacy is not limited to just Pharmacists, a non-Pharmacist can as well have a Community Pharmacy shop if he is able to meet up with the requirements of the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) in registering a premise. Notwithstanding, below is a step by step procedure of what you need to do to own a profitable Pharmacy.

  • Registering a business name
  • Choosing a location
  • Premise registration
  • Equipping the Pharmacy
  • Sourcing of drugs
  • Staff employment
  • Publicity and advert

Registering a business name

The job of registering a business name in Nigeria lies with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Nigeria. The Corporate Affairs Commission makes sure that no two pharmacy bears the same name. Therefore, the first step of Owning a Pharmacy is to own a unique name which has not been used by another business.

Note: when choosing a name, avoid names that will bring glory to your business and not the profession, e.g., “The Best Pharmacy”

CAC has made business registration to be easy and online. This means you can do the registration of your business yourself. However, it is advised you go through a Lawyer.

In summary, After a business registration with the CAC, you will be given a Certificate of Incorporation which you will use while registering your premise with the Pharmacy council of Nigeria.

If you wish to know the requirements and how to register a business name, Click Here.

Choosing a location

When choosing a location for a Pharmacy shop, you will consider two factors;

1.Factors that will favor your business.

A good location for your business is synonymous to a Pharmacy that will thrive. It is important to get a location that encourages movement of people, this will expose your pharmacy easily. Secondly, It is a common practice here in Nigeria to have a Pharmacy and stores combined. It will not be a bad idea to have a place that is big and can allow for expansion easily even small because we hope your Pharmacy will grow someday.

2. A location to meet the PCN requirement.

The PCN frowns at a pharmacy located inside a noisy place such as a market or a motor park. Also, You have to look around and make sure there is no pharmacy in the close proximity. The distance between two Pharmacy Stores as stipulated by PCN is 200 meters. Therefore, a location that is closer than 200 meters to another Pharmacy is a red flag.

Premise registration

For a Pharmacy to be recognized as a Pharmacy, the premise has to be registered with the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN). The registration of a Premise will require some of the documents below;

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum and Article of Association
  • Annual License to Practice Pharmacy ( you can employ a Pharmacist if you are not one)
  • Legal agreement between the Superintendent Pharmacist and his employer
  • Prescribed fees in Bank Draft payable to the Council
  • NYSC Discharge or Exemption certificate if new Pharmacist
  • Undertaking letter by the Superintendent Pharmacist to the effect that he has only one full time job.
  • Resignation letter from a previous job ( if applicable)
  • Letter of undertaking by the Managing Director of the Company to the effect that all Pharmaceutical business shall be under the direct, personal control and management of the Superintendent Pharmacist.

To learn more about Premise registration, Visit the PCN official website

Equipping the Pharmacy

The perception and confidence people will have on your pharmacy depends on the way you package your store. Shelves of modern Pharmacy are built with colorful woods or metal in a well lighted room. More so, the choice of furniture may depend on the capital and taste of the owner.

In addition, security cameras, Computers and other equipment can help you manage your inventory, improve efficiency and speed and also minimize waste and stealing of your drugs.

However, There are facilities that if not available before the inspection from the PCN may cause trouble. These includes;

  1. A consultation room for the Pharmacist with a tag ” Pharmacist on Duty”
  2. Poison box for some drugs of control
  3. Refrigerator for storage of thermolabile drugs
  4. Store and a place also to keep expired drugs
  5. Neat and Comfortable convenience room
  6. An air condition to maintain the right temperature for storage of drugs
  7. A convenient waiting space for the patients; It is a bonus if you can install a TV set for the patients to keep them busy while their drugs are packaged.

Sourcing of drugs

The sourcing of drugs for your Pharmacy can be done in two main ways;

  1. From open market e.g., Head bridge Market, Onitsha
  2. Supplies from Companies through sales Representatives.

To own a profitable pharmacy, you have to utilize these two ways of sourcing drugs because you can never rely solely on the supplies from sales Reps because they will be unable to supply all the drugs needed by your patients. Secondly, Because of the heavy competition in the open drug market, you will get the products cheaper because most of these business men are direct importers or direct dealers from the company.

However, the big limitation of buying drugs from the open market is the fear of fake, substandard drugs, or drugs that deteriorated due to improper storage conditions.

If you must buy from an open market, make sure you have a trusted customer that will always give you the original product.

Staff employment

A pharmacy is not a one man affair. Firstly, there must be a superintendent Pharmacist who will oversee all the Drug-related activities of the company. Also, you may choose to employ other Pharmacists to help out when the superintendent Pharmacist is not around. In most Pharmacies, The managing Director employs a locum Pharmacist because its more flexible and cost effective.

Similarly, a pharmacy will need at least two nurses that will take care of Nursing activities such as giving injections or dressing wounds.

Other people that is important are Cashiers and Pharmacy Technicians.

Publicity and advert

The work in owning a profitable Pharmacy business does not just end after starting up the business. Publicity awareness and advert can go a long way to promote your pharmacy just like every other business.

One of the ways you can advertise your business is to dispense your drugs in a customized bags. In addition, fliers and souvenirs can be issued out to people to create awareness of your shop.

Finally, when starting a pharmacy business, do not focus on profit, rather, focus on building a stream of customers. You can do this by price reduction and also patient’s review to ascertain their level of satisfactions.

In conclusion, Owning a Pharmacy is profitable and still a growing business in Nigeria.

Read also: How to start a small business

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