In this guide, I will show you how to register a pharmacy in Nigeria. Here you will find the registration procedure with the Corporate Affair Commission (CAC) and the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN).
Do you know that you don’t actually have to be a pharmacist before you can own a pharmacy here in Nigeria? Yes! That’s right but the only thing is that you don’t have to operate it like some kind of drug baron who is wanted by the police. What I mean is that your pharmacy must be legitimate.
Speaking of legitimacy, how do you make your pharmacy legitimate? Obviously, the only way of making your pharmacy legitimate is by making sure that you properly get it registered with the governing bodies. One of such important body is the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria PCN.
This body only registers trained pharmacist only and they are also in charge of majority if not all of the things regarding the establishment and management of pharmacies all over Nigeria. So, you can see that PCN is indeed a very authoritative body.
I said earlier; in the first paragraph to be precise, that you don’t have to be a pharmacist before you can have your own pharmacy here in Nigeria, but how is that possible when you have to register with PCN and the only way you can register with PCN is only if you are a trained Pharmacist?
Not to worry, the truth is, you are not going to do the registration by yourself. All you have to do is pay a fully licensed pharmacist to work on the registration procedures for you. After the pharmacist fully registers the pharmacy for you, you can then take charge but it is always wise to employ the pharmacist to work for you even as part time.
This is because, there might be some cases in which you will need his attention, circumstances which requires dealing with PCN officials, counseling patients and giving other services which you can’t or which you are not allowed to offer.
What this article will do for you is to clearly point out the steps on how to register a pharmacy in Nigeria so that you won’t have to worry about or deal in one way or the other with running an illegal pharmacy. If you are currently running an unregistered pharmacy or any other drug store, maybe in the rural area; my honest advice would be for you to get it registered at all cost because you never can tell when that unlucky day will be when you will get caught,
The price for that crime will be severe because by doing that; you risk the life of everyone in that society. Remember what they say “a doctor can kill one patient but a pharmacist can kill an entire community”. It’s just an advice though.
So, now let’s see how we can get our pharmacy store legally registered. In running a pharmacy, only two registrations are paramount. There might be other smaller organizations or association in which you may decide to register only if you like. I can bet that they are not mandatory except these two.
Both of them are important and it is useless in registering for one without the other. Earlier, I had written an article on how to register with PCN. Now, we will see how to register a pharmacy. Mind you, the type of pharmacy we are talking about in this article is the community pharmacy.
Those pharmacies you see along the road sides, in streets and mostly close to hospitals are what we actually call community pharmacies. You can also see pharmacy stores inside hospitals, those ones are different and they are definitely not the case at hand. What we are interested in is the community pharmacy.
I don’t think anyone would want to have a pharmacy which does not have a brand name. You must have heard of these names: Topcare pharmacy, Divino pharmacy, Samboson pharmacy etc. Those are pharmacies with their respective unique brand names. They are unique in the sense that there are no other pharmacies with that same brand name.
So, who does the work of registering and verifying business names? CAC is the body that takes care of registering businesses here in Nigeria. They check to ensure that no two businesses have similar names. You can register your business name either by yourself or through the service of a lawyer.
But why need a lawyer when you can actually get the registration done by yourself. It’s no big deal as you will see.
The requirements listed above will only be needed after your desired business name is confirmed available but it’s necessary that you put them in place so that once your business name is confirmed available, you can then proceed to get your business name registered.
To register your business name, locate the nearest CAC office and request for the name reservation form. You will have to pay for the form (usually 200 naira or more since prices of things do change) after which you will be issued a receipt for payment and the requested form.
Now, you will have to fill the form with the correct details. Your personal information like name and address will be required together with your 2 business names and type of business you wish to register.
CAC will then search their database to check if your business name is available or not. This checking can take up to 2 weeks or more and if at the end of the checking, unfortunately your desired business name is not available, you will have to supply another business name with the same fee of N200 which might change.
Once your business name is found available, you can then proceed to make the full registration as soon as possible to avoid another person taking your business name after the stipulated days are off. It is in this full registration phase that you will supply the requirements listed above.
You will then be given a file with forms for you to supply some information after which you will submit to them for verification (this is just to check how you filled the form and usually takes an hour or more). When you are done with the verification, you can proceed to pay your registration fee which was charged at N4, 000 as at last year.
After fee payment, you will then be issued a certificate and other useful documents which you have to keep carefully. That’s how simple it is!
This will be broken down into two stages.
Stage 1: finding a suitable location for the establishment of your pharmacy and getting approval for it
Stage 2: the main registration
Where the stress actually lies is in finding a suitable location. This is because you have to be very vigilante knowing that as a business, it must be sited in a well accessible environment and should also be in a location which is prone to potential buyers or patients and on the other hand, you must also watch in order not to violate the conditions required for a location approval which are stated thus:
Once you have made sure that your choosen location has not violated any of the above mentioned conditions, you can then proceed further by forwarding the below listed documents to PCN:
Note: all forms will be issued by PCN. The prescribed fee is not stated in this article in order not to get your hopes up since prices do change. The amount charged as at the time of this post may change before next two months. In order not to make it seem like we supplied a wrong information or worst-get you disappointed, I have decided to omit the fee. I hope you understand.
Your application will be reviewed and processed accordingly. If everything goes smooth which I pray it should, you will be given some documents and also note that you have to renew your license yearly. From here, you can then stock your pharmacy and begin to make your money.
Read in Detail: Steps to Register With Pharmacist Council of Nigeria
At this point, the work of the pharmacist you paid to register your premise for you has ended but it will still be wise to keep him or her or at least keep a close contact with each other in case of necessity. Your pharmacist will be the one renewing the licensee. Goodluck!
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