This is what pharmacy business stands for.:Pharmacy is a retail drugstore that deals with proprietary, prescription and non prescription drugs. The umbrella association for pharmacists is Pharmacists Society of Nigeria .(PSN)
Pharmacy business is a very lucrative business which can keep your account fat on a daily basis. As the population of Nigeria is growing so also is the number of people becoming sick increasing. No thanks to climatic change which has brought so much changes that affects the body negatively healthwise. For instance Cancer diseases of various type is now on the increase.
Apart from humans it also affect plants, (green house effect). So many other things exposes us to sicknesses, how about the food we eat many are chemically induced…
These and many more other things are the reason this business will keep striving. There are two typed of Pharmaceutical settings in Nigeria:
- We have pharmacy stores that are established in Government hospitals. The stores have just but few drugs that are not common but very important. That is why most times the refer people to community pharmacy stores to buy recommended drugs.
- The other one is ‘The Community Pharmacy Store’ . These are the drugstores we see around us which are owned by private individuals.. They are set in communities to take care of the people living around there. Community pharmacy is the focus on this post.
HOW TO START A PHARMACY STORE
There are guidelines covering the operation and Owning of a Pharmacy business. If you are interested in this business and have the capital to start, here are the steps to take:
REGISTER A BUSINESS NAME
It is very important you incorporate a business name, this is a must to any Pharmacy. After deciding on a name you want to use go to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and register the name. They will do a run down check to make sure no other person is using the name. The type of registration should be a limited liability company.
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Put the name of the pharmacist that will help you get the license as one of the directors.
GET LICENSED BY PCN
This business is solely for pharmacist but If you are not a pharmacist and want to own a pharmaceutical store then you will have to involve a pharmacist. Basically it is only a fully registered pharmacist that you can partner with so be careful not to enter into the hands of a fake. The pharmacist must have up to 60% shares in the company if not you may not be able to proceed further in the future.
Having a pharmacist around your store is necessary because he will be the one to stand in for you when the regulators come. Ofcourse they will surely come one day since they move about always. That is why cutting corners is dangerous in Pharmacy business.. You can start on a franchise.
STARTING A PHARMACY STORE ON FRANCHISE
This involves partnering with an existing pharmacy store. You can buy up an existing pharmacy store or enter agreement with an owner to use his/her company name to operate your own. The owner will allow you only on certain conditions which you have to abide. But the good thing is that if the name of the business is a popular one; you may have more patronage due to the name
CHOOSE A GOOD LOCATION
The success of this business to a greater extent depends solely on the location. Look out for a location that has a very high population. putting the class of people living in this environment into consideration this is very important.
If you are thinking of establishing your pharmacy store in a low-class area where the majority of people relies on chemist, road side drug vendors or those hawking in the market. It will be difficult to pull through in the business.
THE RULES GUIDING THE SETTING UP OF A PHARMACY STORE
The store should not be cited 200m to another existing pharmacy store premises.
It should not be in a bus stop, market nor within a Government Hospital. That is why you don’t have to start anything until you have gotten approval by the Department of Pharmacy Council. After your store has been finally approved you can then set it up by making it very beautiful.
Open a co-operate account with any commercial bank. This will help to get a credit loan should you need it at any time.
Get another pharmacist, this time a superintendent pharmacist who will superintend the registering of the premises for you. He will be the one to stand in whenever the PCN comes for inspection.
Employing him will cost you money because you have to place him on salary. He will be reporting to the pharmacist at the board of Directors in the company who will tell you the kind of drugs to stock in your shop. He can also assist you in getting credit loan from the bank.
In case you don’t want to employ another pharmacy you can make use of the one at the board. This would be on agreement but you have to place him on salary alongside his 60% shares..
Employ staff that will help in running the business. Depending on how big your pharmacy store is, you then decide on how many of them to employ. But it shouldn’t be less than 2. Pay your staffs’ according to your monthly or daily sales. Give them commission for additional sales outside their salaries.
When your staffs’ are well paid, they will in turn treat your customers well. This means there will be more patronage because of return sales.
HOW TO SET UP A PHARMACY STORE
Here are the things to include in the store:
- After getting a spacious shop, build shelves for drugs with woods that will last long. If you use any inferior woods thinking you can replace them later, you will be surprised how fast the business has grown and you will regret why you didn’t use good woods.
- Standby generator (1.5kva).
Stock shop with all kinds of drugs ranging from analgestics to prophylactics. But you have to make sure you buy NAFDAC approve drugs. Care must be taken not to buy fake ones.
Despite all the efforts by the body to eradicate fake drugs you still find them around. In other to avoid falling a prey go to NAFDAC or DDAS office and get drug distributors directory list.
- Fire extinguishers
- Pharmacist office/space
- Use beautiful colours for the painting
- Air conditions or fans
- Give a good ventilation
- Tile the floor
- CCTV (optional)
- Register, Invoice
- POS machine (optional)
- Bench or chairs for clients
CHALLENGES OF THIS BUSINESS
Bad location: most pharmacies close down because of location
Poor management Fake or low quality drugs. The more you stay away from it the better for you.
Not considering the history of someone’s health before administering drugs.
HOW TO GET A BANK LOAN
Banks give exclusive loans to pharmacy stores. Example is the Medi-loan of Diamond bank, others are Fidelity, IBTC etc. The loan often time depends on your monthly turn over.
But most banks would require a minimum of 6 months dealings with them before they can offer you loans to expand your pharmacy business.
It is the superintendent pharmacist that will assist you in getting this loan from the bank.
Yearly registration ends every December. So you have to choose the time to register your pharmacy business. To avoid registering twice before commencing operation.
Sometimes the approval from PCN can take as long as 6 months or less.
The new rule now states that, the pharmacist to use most be a family person. Your surname and the person’s name must rhyme.
Drugs are commodities with expiry dates. If you don’t want some of the stock to expire in your hands then you need a good location where patronage is optimum.
If the pharmacist at the Board of Directors or Premise license leaves or opt out, the registration becomes invalid until you find another person.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO PHARMACY BUSINESS
It is very profitable, this is a business you can get about 100% return on investments. Assuming you bought drugs of #100,000 you can make #200,000 and above profits.
The business is not crowded. The demand for drug is high.
It is sustainable when you get to the hospital and see the number of people who seek for medication; then you will know the business is not going to fade.. A very straight forward business.
THE PROS AND CONS OF PHARMACY BUSINESS
It is highly competitive and capital-intensive
You can combine the business with other complementary businesses such as cosmetics, dietary foods, food supplement (GNLD, TIANSHI etc.), pampers, water etc.
HOW MUCH IS NEEDED TO START THIS BUSINESS
The cost of starting a Pharmacy business is huge. 5 million Naira can start it comfortably but if you don’t have up to that then 3 million can go through.
Lets say #500,000 is for shop renting, 2 million for drugs. #500,000 for other things listed above.
Pharmacy business is extremely lucrative, you can partner with someone if you don’t have the needed capital to start.