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Opening And Starting A Retail Or Community Pharmacy In Nigeria

Community Pharmacy Shop In Nigeria
Community Pharmacy Shop
Community pharmacy is drug stores managed and controlled by a pharmacist. They usually compliment the work of hospital pharmacy. They are mostly the first point of call for most patients.
They stock and sell all forms of legal drugs from prescription-only medicine (P.O.M), over the counter (O.T.C) drugs to prescription-only medicine controlled drugs (P.O.M.C.D)

Community pharmacy is found everywhere most especially in towns and cities. Most graduates of pharmacy always consider either working here for some time or even starting one right away. This is the reason why the thought of this article came up.

Not every person in Nigeria can own a community pharmacy. In addition, not every practising pharmacy can. The reason is that a pharmacy can only use one license for one career except such one decides to change career.

Non-pharmacist have device means of owning pharmacy shops. However, this is only possible with the aid of a pharmacist with a valid license. On the other hand, a pharmacist in other careers who wish to own a community pharmacy or new graduates must follow these processes to get one.

Read Also: How To Set Up A Patent Medicine/Chemist Store In Nigeria

Owning A Community Pharmacy

All applicants must be up to date witMandatory Continuing Professional Development (M.C.P.D) Program. Every pharmacist must have a valid license before proceeding to the next step, which is registration as a pharmaceutical chemist.

  1. Pharmaceutical Chemist: This is achieved by visiting the nearest state-owned Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (P.C.N) to get the form with a standard fee. The form, which is designated Form C, is filled and submitted with a passport size photograph.
  2. Name Registration: After approval by PCN, the name of the pharmacist is registered with the name of the business in the register. This also cost a standard fee that covers a year period.
  3. Premise Registration: Registration of the premised to be used is the next step. At this step, it is better to have a shop that is most likely to be approved. If it is disapproved, it can mean the loss of rent for a whole year.

To register the premise Form B is filled out just like Form J. Submission of Form J with a photocopy of annual license to practice and application for the retention of a name in the pharmaceutical register with a passport size photograph. This is given to the pharmacy inspectorate at their office. There are a prescribed inspection and registration fee that is to be paid as a bank draft. The bank draft is given to the applicant with account details already printed, which is to be submitted back to PCN.

Forms to be given include job declaration, directors understanding form and ownership form.
Other forms to be filled, completed and submitted include:

  1. Letter of appointment in new premise where applicable
  2. Company’s Certificate of Incorporation (evidence of registration of business name is acceptable from pharmacist owned retailer premise)
  3. Memorandum and Article of Association (certified copy)
  4. Certified true copy of Form Co7 showing the name of the pharmacist director.
  5. Bank draft showing proof of payment
  6. Inspection Report (From DPS or PIC)
  7. Current annual license to practice as pharmacist director
  8. Letter of registration and acceptance of registration from a former employer of pharmacist if previously employed.
  9. Particulars of first directors of the company, National youth service corps (N.Y.S.C) discharge certificate for the new pharmacist.
  10. Letter of agreement between superintendent pharmacist and employer
  11. Pharmacist interstate movement form (where applicable)
  12. Lastly, particulars of directors as issued by CAC (certified copy)

NOTE: Five letter of agreement between employer and employee to be submitted to Association Of Community Pharmacy of Nigeria (A.C.P.N). This is the only way to get cleared. Submit originals and two (2) photocopies of the following documents:

  1. Form J
  2. Form B
  3. All PCN bank tellers
  4. ACPN receipts and endorsed clearance form
  5. Oath certificate
  6. NYSC discharge letter or exemption letter
  7. Superintendent joint declaration form
  8. Ownership form
  9. Letter of employment
  10. Letter of acceptance
  11. Endorse contract agreement
  12. All Cooperate Affairs Commission (C.A.C) documents

4. Registration with CAC: After all these things, the business must be registered with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (C.A.) by visiting any of their state branches.

To do this, pick two business names you like, submit to CAC. Wait for approval, if not change the name. It happens most time when the name is taken or closely related to another. Finally, take the approved name to CAC. They will demand a copy of license of pharmacy shareholder to incorporate a pharmacy named company. CAC will give all new applicants form Co2 and Co7.

At this stage, all is set but to get your location approved by PCN, the following must be adhered to:

  • Location: The location of the store must be some distance from other community pharmacy stores around. For retail stores, the minimum distance is 30.3 SQM while wholesale should be not less than 50 SQM.
  • Environment: Site the stored away from complicated surroundings like garbage dumpsites, abattoirs, mechanic shops, markets, motor parks etc.
  • Equipment: The store must have these basic things like shelves, fire extinguisher, pharmacist office, poison box, air conditioner.
  • Structure: The size of the store must not be less than 30 SQM wth ceiling height of at least 3.05 SQM. The building must be in concrete block or similar quality. Painting should be suitable for the business. The name of the superintendent pharmacy should be on display in a space clearly visible to visitors.

Read Also: Things To Expect When You Visit A Doctor For Medical Diagnosis

Tips To Be Successful In Community Pharmacy Practice


  1. Good Location: A busy area will be more viable than a sparsely populated place.
  2. Competitors: Siting close to an established name can spell doom except there is an advantage like rent if free. However, careful planning is needed here.
  3. Capital: It is capital intensive so there should be a lot of cash at hand when starting off. However, care must be taken not to stock the wrong type of drugs. Essential medicines vary from location to location. A proper survey from a fellow pharmacist in the business and those indigenous to the place can be an eye opener. Better to stock small and note the most sort after drug.
  4. Advertise: Keep advertising your store using words of mouth and paid adverts. One cheap way I always recommend is for every business owner to own a blog which is cheap to manage and yet sells the business in no time.
  5. Employ Staffs: Employ capable hands that can handle the store when you are not there. Such ones can come pharmacy technicians or fellow pharmacist. The bottom line is considered your capital.
  6. Dealers: Have good dealers where you can buy drugs from at affordable rates. Also, consider the quality of what they are selling.
  7. Analyse the community: Age population, disease prevalence, competitors’ strength, and weakness with your own opportunity and threats.
  8. Insurance: Please insure the business against unforeseen occurrence like fire, negligence etc.

Note: To be successful as a major drug supplier to patent stores in that environment, it is a requirement that you register in their organisation. If you fail to do that, they will restrict their members from patronising you. Ha-ha! That is how powerful they are.
In case you have any contribution and query, please feel free to use the comment box or contact me using the contact form.

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