How to start a patent medicine store, also known as a chemist shop in Nigeria is what we shall be looking at as we proceed in this article. A patent medical store is where over the counter drugs (OTC) are stocked and dispensed to individuals in need of these medicines in order to get well from certain illnesses and they are mostly located at rural settings or communities in the country.
If you would love to set up a patent drug store in the country, you should be aware that the only professional body responsible for approving your business is the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). They have a major say on whether or not to allow you operate a chemist shop in the country after they must have been satisfied that you meet the requirements for opening a drug store in your locality.
The PCN through the National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) ensures that all the requirements guiding the setting up of patent drug stores are strictly adhered to in the country due to the fact that human lives are involved and they wouldn’t want to licence just about anybody.
Patent drug stores are not managed by pharmacists, but can be owned by pharmacy technicians or many other individuals in the country that have sound knowledge of medicines and the required documents that prove that they underwent the necessary training and licencing to be eligible to operate a chemist shop.
These drug stores are mostly found in rural settings or in places where primary health centres and pharmacy stores are not easily accessible and they help to bridge that gap by making sure that by dispensing certain OTC drugs, those living in their communities can also have a feel of what it means to have something close to primary healthcare in their neighbourhood.
In terms of being lucrative, patent medical stores in Nigeria can fetch you a respectable sum of ₦300,000 or more per month depending on the types of medicines you sell and your proximity to your customers. If your patronage is very high, it should not surprise you when you balance your books and find out that you have made respectable figures in terms of profits.
GUIDE ON HOW TO START A PATENT MEDICINE STORE IN NIGERIA
If you wish to open a chemist shop in Nigeria, we have outlined the step by step guide on how to go about it as we proceed below:
STEP 1: PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN
The first step on how to set up your patent medical store is to simply prepare your business plan on how you want to run the business. This should be very detailed, factoring in the pros and cons of what owning a patent medical store is all about, your capital, your registration fees, how many employees you would love to have and where the best possible place you would love to site your business should be. All these details matter and you should put all of them into consideration before you proceed with the business.
STEP 2: GET LICENCED BY THE PHARMACISTS COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (PCN)
Once you have decided to set up your drug store, ensure that you get a valid operating licence from the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) before anything else. This is very compulsory and very necessary to prevent you from having issues with the authorities in the future.
The PCN, under the authority of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria issues licencing certificates to patent medicine dealers in the country, kindly ensure that you obtain this certificate or risk your shop being sealed either temporary or indefinitely and this can prevent you from joining the relevant proprietary medicine vendors and distributors in the country.
STEP 3: REGISTER YOUR PATENT MEDICINE STORE WITH NAPPMED
In order to register your chemist store in the country, you will be required to join the umbrella body in charge of this which is the National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED). This is the body authorized by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria to regulate and control patent drug stores in Nigeria.
To become a registered member of NAPPMED, you will be required to present your licencing certificate obtained from the PCN, after which you are to make a mandatory payment for registration so as to be recognized as a full fledged member of the body. This registration fee is about ₦200,000, preferably with foods and drinks as this is the norm. It is usually a feast time where all members in your zone come and wine and dine as you are introduced to them.
Apart from the registration fee, you will be required to pay a yearly fee of about ₦30,000 – ₦50,000 to renew your membership with the National Association of Proprietary and Patent Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED). The amount varies depending on your location.
STEP 4: REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME WITH THE CAC
After you must have drawn up your business plan and you are sure that you have what it takes to run a successful patent medicine store in Nigeria, and after being licenced by the PCN and registered with NAPPMED, the next step would be to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
This process is a simple one and information on how to register your business name in Nigeria is contained in the link provided. During your business name registration, the CAC will ask for your PCN licence as proof that you are running a genuine business.
STEP 5: GET A RELIABLE DRUG SUPPLIER
Once you have satisfied every requirement up to step 4, the next step is to get a reliable drug supplier for your patent drug store. Ensure that you are familiar with reputable wholesalers and distributors of the type of drugs you want to sell so as to make your business less stressful.
STEP 6: GET A SHOP AT A GOOD LOCATION
Ensure that you get a shop at a good location where you can be readily patronized. Places that do not have access to primary health centres and pharmacy stores are where you can come in and fill the void as the top medicine dealer in that area. In accordance with the health rules governing the country, ensure that your shop is sighted at a neat place so that you do not joepardize the health of your customers.
Also make sure that the environmental condition is conducive for customers by keeping your store neat. Endeavour to site your chemist shop 200 meters away from another patent medical store in busy areas or 400 meters away from the next one in less busy areas.
STEP 7: PUBLICIZE YOUR BUSINESS
This is very important for your business to grow. Once you have established your drug store, ensure that you advertise it so that people are aware of what you do to give you greater patronage. There are some rules governing how to advertise your business if you are in this line of work, it would be great if you found out from your colleagues in this field about the necessary steps to take to get your patent medicine store out there to its target customers.
STEP 8: ATTEND ORIENTATION PROGRAMMES
Be sure to attend important orientation programmes organized by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) for patent medicine dealers in the country and other programmes that are organized by NAPPMED in order to gain knowledge on the latest trends in moving your business forward. You can also attend seminars and presentations organized by some of the top pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria in your zone to gain insight on new drugs that can be beneficial to your customers.