Starting a pharmacy outlet is one of the lucrative businesses anybody could start in Nigeria.
There are so many articles on the internet on how to register a pharmacy outlet in Nigeria.
Some of these articles are inaccurate, while others are not detailed enough to give the proper guidance needed to own a pharmacy store in Nigeria.
However, this is a well-detailed guide on how to register a pharmacy outlet in Nigeria in 2020.
This article is not exclusive to pharmacists alone. Hence, whether you are a pharmacist or a not pharmacist, this article is relevant to you, as non-pharmacist can also open a pharmacy in Nigeria.
Hence, whether you are a trained pharmacist or a nonpharmacist who wishes to register and operate a pharmacy store in Nigeria, this article will offer you the proper guidance on how to go about it legally.
If you are ready, let’s get started.
What Is A Pharmacy Outlet?
A pharmacy outlet which is also known as a pharmacy drug store or patent medicine store, is a retail store or shop which provides prescription drugs to patients.
It is required that every pharmacy in Nigeria must have at least 1 trained pharmacy present.
The responsibilities of the pharmacist are to:
- check and dispense prescription drugs to patients.
- offer advise to doctors on drug selection and usage.
- counsel patients on disease prevention and proper usage of medicines.
How To Register A Pharmacy Outlet
There are so many pharmacy outlets in Nigeria, however, not all of them have been properly registered with the appropriate agencies.
The reason for this could simply be the lack of ignorance or commitment on the part of the pharmacy owners.
Registering a pharmacy business in Nigeria involves 2 major processes.
- Registering the Pharmacy with Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
- Registration with the Pharmacists Council Nigeria (PCN).
Before you can officially operate a Pharmacy outlet in Nigeria, you must be registered with the above-listed bodies in Nigeria.
It is important and highly mandatory that you register your pharmacy with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC), and Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), otherwise, your pharmacy outlet will not be recognized.
In this article, we have outlined the detailed steps that will guide you on registering your pharmacy outlet with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC), and the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN).
How to Register a Pharmacy in Nigeria With Corporate Affairs Commission CAC
The first step to opening a pharmacy store is to register the name of the pharmacy with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Without this, your pharmacy will not be recognized in Nigeria, and whichever name you are calling your pharmacy will be an illegal and unrecognized name according to Nigerian standards.
I don’t think you would want to run a pharmacy without a brand name, would you?
You must have heard about Landmark Pharmacy, PharmLab pharmacy, and the rest.
These are brand names because you can not have any other registered pharmacy with any of those names.
The registration of your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC), gives your business that unique identity, which can make it stand out among other pharmacy outlets in Nigeria.
Requirements for Business (Pharmacy) Name Registration with CAC
Registering your pharmacy with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, requires you have the following documents.
- 2 recent passport photographs
- 2 business names (in which one will serve as an alternative if the other has already been registered by someone else)
- Details of a partner (your partner can be anyone you trust; ideally, your wife or child)
- Your partner’s passport photograph
- Your address
- Phone number
- Other basic information regarding yourself (like local Government Area etc).
To register the name of your pharmacy in Nigeria, start by going to https://publicsearch.cac.gov.ng/ComSearch/ and search for the availability of the preferred pharmacy name on the CAC database.
The reason why you must first perform this search is to be certain the name is not yet registered by another person before you begin the registration process.
Once the name is available, you can now proceed with the business name registration by filling the required forms.
Within 2 weeks, you should receive a message about the status of your business name.
Also note that you really do not need the services of a legal practitioner for you to be able to register your pharmacy name with the CAC.
To begin the registration process with CAC, follow our detailed article on how to register a business name with CAC.
How to Register a Pharmacy with Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN)
After you have successfully registered the name of your pharmacy outlet with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the next thing you must take is to register the pharmacy with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria.
Every pharmacy in Nigeria, whether it is a retail pharmacy outlet, a community pharmacy, or a hospital pharmacy, must be duly registered with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN).
The Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) is a Federal Government Agency, established by Act 91 of 1992 constitution.
Their main responsibility is to regulate and control the practice of pharmacy throughout the Federation and the control of pharmaceutical education in Nigeria.
The body is also saddled with the responsibility of determining the standard of knowledge and skill that is to be attained by persons seeking to become pharmacists in Nigeria.
In other words, operating a pharmacy in Nigeria when you have not registered it with the PCN is illegal, whether the name is registered with the CAC or not.
Steps Involved In Registering a Pharmacy with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria
Below are the steps you must follow to successfully get your pharmacy store registered with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria.
Step 1: Find a Good Business Location
Getting a store for your pharmacy in a good location is usually one of the first steps to getting your pharmacy registered with the PCN.
The store should be at least 30sqm to 40sqm (it can be bigger depends on how big you want the store to be).
Also, the proposed store must be at least 200 meters far from any other nearby registered pharmacy store.
In addition to that, the location must not be in the marketplace, Motor Parks, or where high commercial activities are taking place.
Also, the environment of the premises must be neat.
Step 2: Write a Location Approval Letter to PCN
Next, you must write a location approval letter to the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria.
The fee for this location approval is N10,000. At this point if you are not a Pharmacist then you’ll need to employ a Superintendent Pharmacist.
Step 3: Setting Up the Store
Once your location is approved by the PCN, you now have to set up the store by putting up all the necessary things required for a pharmacist store.
Example of some of the things to put in your pharmacy includes furniture, electronics, Pharmacist office, fire extinguisher, poison book and box and so on but DON’T STOCK YET!
Step 4: Apply for Registration of Pharmacy Premises
At this point, you must now apply for the registration of a new pharmacy premises.
The premise or store will be visited and inspected by PCN officials, to make certain it meets the minimum requirement for a pharmacy outlet or store.
Once the pharmacy outlet fulfills the requirement, you will now be asked to pay for the license and registration.
Application for Registration of New Premises
Below is the application procedure for new pharmacy premises as stipulated by the PCN.
- 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 (the fee will be communicated to you at their office and can be paid online too through remita)
- Inspection report (From DPS or PIC)
- Current Annual License to practice from the Pharmacist Director
- Letter of resignation and acceptance of resignation from the former employer of Pharmacist it previously employed
- Particulars of first Directors of Company
- NYSC discharge Certificate for new pharmacist
For a Pharmacist owned business
If you are a Pharmacist registering your own pharmacy, you need to make provision for the following:
- Application Letter for Premises Registration
- C.A.C Ccertificate of incorporation (C.A.C Stands for Corperate Affairs Commission)
- C.A.C forms CO2 and CO7
- Superintendent pharmacist license
- NYSC discharge certificate for a post NYSC pharmacist
- Letter Stating that You have just one full-time pharmacist job
- Pay inspection and registration fee into PCN account
- Duly fill and submit Forms B and J from PCN
- and patiently wait for the application out come
For a Non Pharmacist owned business
Note: you will have to Provide the above document and the following;
1. Appointment and Acceptance of Appointment Letters of Superintendent pharmacist
2. A Letter promising to give the Superintendent pharmacist a free hand
3. A legal Agreement between the Superintendent pharmacist and the Managing Director
4. Letter informing PCN of appointment of a Superintendent Pharmacist
Note: You don’t need to be there during all the inspections.
Only the Superintendent Pharmacist and the Pharmacist on the Board of Directors (if different) are expected to be seen.
Once the pharmacy is registered, you will receive all the documents and then go ahead with stocking the pharmacy with genuine products from a credible supplier.
If on the other hand, your premises is not approved, you have to write an appeal letter to the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN).
That is all on how to register a pharmacy outlet in Nigeria.
Registering a pharmacy store is not enough. You must ensure it grows and doesn’t die.
You might want to check out our article on the 5 Causes of Business Failure in Nigeria and how to prevent it.
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