How To Start A Patent Medicine Store (Chemist) In Nigeria (2023)

This article is about how to start a patent medicine store business, also known as a chemist shop business in Nigeria this 2023. 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.

How To Start A Patent Medicine Store (Chemist) In Nigeria

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.

In setting up your patent medicine store business in Nigeria, otherwise known as a chemist shop, you should be aware that one of the notable challenges in this patent medical store business in the country is that there are many fake/adulterated medicines in circulation that are detrimental to the health of many Nigerians and you should be careful not to fall prey to this by stocking up your chemist shop with such drugs. Ensure you source your medicines from trusted dealers to avoid getting into trouble with the relevant authorities, especially the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.


We understand that going about how to start your patent medicine store business in Nigeria can be a daunting task, that is why we have taken out time to outline the step by step processes involved in setting up your chemist business in Nigeria this 2023. They are outlined below:


The first step on how to set up your patent medical store in Nigeria today 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.


Once you have decided to set up your drug store in Nigeria today, you should 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.


In order to register your chemist store business 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

The Author

Maduawuchi Obialo

Maduawuchi Obialo is the founder of Nigerian Guide and the Editor-in-Chief at Nigerian Infopedia. He is a professional Web Content Developer and a Biochemist.


Add a Comment
  1. Am happy to get this information thank you so much

    1. Can someone open the business without gaining any knowledge about drugs and employ nurse for it

  2. I will love to get a number which I can put a call through.thank once again

  3. Im well educated and will need updates on this discusion

    1. I’m impressed on this information, thank you.

  4. I’m very happy to receive this information. It’s my starting point.

  5. Augustine kehinde success

    Please can someone who registered with CAC can such run patent shop without association

    1. Hi Augustine, no you can’t. You must go through the whole process.

  6. I have paid for my shop and bought the necessary drugs am about to start my patent business but there is an existing patent shop opposite my shop how do i go about it please reply

    1. I’m on this table too,I’ve found a suitable location for my shop
      I was even about paying the rent, on getting there’s the following day I just noticed a provision seller that added few drugs with it is around the place, just 3shops interval, I don’t know if I can still use the place??

      1. Hi Yemmie you can proceed with your business as long as you know you’re focused on only drugs. It gives you better credibility that your patent medicine store can be trusted better than someone else who sells provisions and does the medicine business on the side.

        1. Thanks for the information,I pray it will go a long way for me.

          1. Please sir can I have your number am about to start mine..I just need someone to direct me perfectly,I have never done business before..Thank you very much for the information

        2. Please sir, as a nurse that owns a chemist shop, am I permitted to treat people by giving drips, injections and so on?

  7. You’re a life saver
    Thanks so much for this great one

    1. Am Opeyemi am really impressed thank you so much, I have questions. My boss said I can not open my shop in the town she is, is it normal

      1. Hi Opeyemi, you can open your Patent Medicine Store in the same town as your boss but very different locations. If your boss says you cannot do that, then it’s not normal. Except she’s scared of competition.

  8. The piece is helpful…..
    However,I learnt that there’s is another existing regulatory body called NISSAN apart from NAPPMED
    Is it authorised and operational too???
    If yes,how do they operate??

  9. I wish to set up a patent medicine store from your educative write up

  10. I wish to started up a patent medicine story in my area please can i have some one to guide me on please.

  11. very informative.

  12. I found this helpful. I have heard in mind long ago of setting up a patent medicine store. But, I don’t know how to go about it.Can I get a guide please

    1. Nice website I learn a lots

  13. I have finished my CNA program and I want to start pharmacy business I may qualified to go

    1. If someone has already registered with cac, is it necessary to still register with association again?

      1. Hi Titilope, yes you have to register with the NAPPMED so that you aren’t hindered from doing your Patent Medicine Store business in the long run. Also ensure that the PCN is aware of your business.

        1. Pls sir What is the different between nissan and nappmed and pls can you register under both and if so can you go through your association to get your license?tank u

        2. This NAPPMED union are extorting their members especially the one in Jattu, Edo State. If it is just dues that you are paying monthly, there won’t be any problem. You will be paying for levies every 3 months, pay for dues every month, pay for CPC, pay for SARS, pay for commerce and industry. I don’t know if we are the one paying all these Federal parastratals I just mentioned their salaries. They still expect you to pay tax to them instead of paying directly to the government, and after paying they will be distributing photocopies of receipts to members that paid to them. They just locked my shop for protesting, because sales has been very sweet this period and I don’t have money.

        3. Eweyeju Christian

          What about already registered member that want to relocate his medicine store to new area, what are the suppose step to take

      2. This is very helpful. Pls can I open my store then later I can go for the registration cos the 200k is expensive for starters like me.

        1. Hi Ruth, you can but to be on a safer side and do your business without having any issues with the relevant bodies, I suggest that you locate the NAPPMED in your area and find out their terms and conditions for owning a Patent Medicine Store in Nigeria.

          1. I’m about to open mine too but it’s not a pharmacy, it’s just a patent drugs chemist.
            Hope I can join the association?

          2. Hi Queen, you will have to join NAPPMED before you can operate your patent medicine store in Nigeria.

  14. Very informative and good

  15. Please sir can I register my chemist shop under another person name?

    1. Hi Tina, this is quite risky. Are you sure it won’t backfire in the long run?

      1. Progress nneoma joel

        Please can I get a number that I can chat with for more information?

  16. Thank you very much for the guidelines. I have being wanting to start a patent drug store but I didn’t know how to go about it..but now I know. Tnx a lot

  17. Thank u for the information am a nurse by profession and I want to start the business how do I go about it and how much can it cost.pls reply am waiting

  18. Plz sir reply me so that I don’t make mistakes I have a plan and shop to open it but need help and advice pls

    1. Hi Ndidi, kindly go through the information contained in this article, and try to locate any NAPPMED office in your area for more enquiries.

  19. Can I run a Patent Medicine Store without registering with CAC?

    1. Hi May D, it is advisable to run your Patent medical store with all the required documents to avoid issues in the long run.

    2. Pls can I use auxiliary nurse certificate to open chemist shop or I still need to learn chemist.pls reply to this.

  20. Oyetubo Tolulope Rosemary

    Please can I get a business plan on this.

    1. Hi Tolulope, unfortunately it is not possible to give you a business plan on this at this time.

    2. It’s so good on so many levels. Thank you sir.

    3. Need guidelines on how to get trained as a patent medicine business owner. I’m 50+ can I still go for it?

  21. Sir must i have a certificate before i can open a patent medicine store

    1. Hi Patricia, before you are licensed to operate a patent medicine store in Nigeria, you must be certified by the PCN and NAPPMED.

      1. What nissan are they not recognize in Lagos?

        1. Hi Funke, For Patent Medicine Store business, NAPPMED is the main association to register with anywhere in Nigeria but if you’re in Lagos State, you should also look to register with the Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association.

        2. Thanks for this information, it’s very helpful.

  22. Thank u very much sir, pls sir like how much did I need to start my chemist store ?

    1. Hi Lizzy, to start your Patent Medicine Store business in Nigeria, you will need from ₦500,000 upwards.

      1. Thank you so much for this information.
        But please how much can I use for registering all and where can I register here in Lagos? Please I really need an urgent answer. Thank you.

        1. Hi Lizzy, the information you seek is in the article already. Kindly go through it again.

          1. Please sir, I’m an auxiliary nurse, I just opened a shop and bought drugs. Can I get to do the registration later but will always attend to the NAPPMED seminar anytime it is scheduled? And sir, please how can I get to chat you for more guidelines?

          2. Hi Murewa, without registering with the appropriate authorities, you cannot operate a Patent Medicine Store in Nigeria. If you want to contact the admin, kindly do so via email at

        2. Abdulsalam Fatimoh

          I need a guideline on how to start a patient medicine store

  23. Very informative,I wish to start mine very soon.thanks

  24. This is a very helpful information
    Please to register such patent medicine store in Lagos will cost how much? Who are those responsible agency for that in Lagos? I’m RN holder which I’m planning to establish my chemist and nursing home very soon.

    1. Thanks for the piece of advice. Pls must I get a shop before registration to PCN, NAPPMED, CAC or must I register into the Bodies before getting a shop.

  25. Thanks a lot for this sir. In your write up, you mentioned that a yearly fee of ₦30,000 – ₦50,000 is paid, which is used for vigilante dues and registration into PCN, after registering with NAPPMED. Sir, by that statement, do you mean it’s NAPPMED’s responsibility to register me with PCN from this yearly fee of ₦30,000 – ₦50,000?

    1. Hi Oghenero, from the article, it is very clear that we mentioned that the yearly fees are used to renew your membership with NAPPMED. We never wrote that it is used for vigilante and PCN re-registration.

      1. Please sir, can I open a chemist store with only NAPPMED and later I can apply for PCN?

      2. I’m a pharmacy technician with 3 years working experience. I have renewed my permit for the year and would like to establish my pharmacy outlet, what other requirements do I need?

  26. Please sir can I have your number? I’m about to start up the Patent Medicine Store business in Nigeria and I need your direction. Thanks.

    1. Hi Treasure, kindly contact the admin via email at

  27. Thanks so much for this vital information. I have got all I need. Pls sir, my question goes this way, if I register with Nappmed, will they offer me PCN license? Again,I know I won’t see injection in patent medicine shop, but can i sell needles and syringes?

  28. Thanks so much for this vital information. I’m about to register with NAPPMED. Can I sell needles, syringes and cannula? I know I won’t sell injections.

    1. Hi Esther, it’s better to ask your colleagues in the business if you can sell such but left to me, seeing that you’re a Patent Medicine Store business dealer in Nigeria, I’ll advise you desist from such. The PCN may frown against it. Kindly stick to medicines.

      1. Thanks so much for your response.

        1. I am grateful to get this information because I am planning to open my own chemist shop

  29. Nice information, please sir like how much will I used to register for Lagos State medicine dealers association.

  30. its great to have received this information but my question is can a biochemist run a pharmacy shop without having partnership with a pharmacist?.

  31. Thank you sir for this article. But, sir how long can I learn this business and what could possibly be my least start up capital? Also, is it possible to employ someone to sell for me while I work?

    1. Hi Juliet, the duration for learning this business depends on the person you’re learning under and your agreement with them. You can start up with ₦200,000 and above, then as you grow, you can inject more capital into your business. Yes you can employ someone to work under you but that person must have a knowledge of medicines seeing you’re dealing with human lives.

  32. I am a nurse. Do I need to use a pharmacist license and certificates to apply for PCN license?

  33. Nnadi Chinenye Petronella

    This was helpful, thanks a lot.

  34. Iheonunekwu merit

    I’m so much Happy to receive this information. Thanks, I appreciate.

  35. Sylvester A Gadzama

    Very rich indeed. I cannot find a suitable shop building to start a patent medicine store around but I have a very good foreign container that is air conditioned, can I use it? Secondly, I have not received any training on medicine handling, can I open and employ a trained personnel to work there? Thanks

    1. Hi Sylvester, the answer to all your questions is yes.

  36. Please how do I get a good supplier? i want to open my chemist shop. every other things are done only to get a supplier.

    1. Please can somebody help with patent store suppliers in Lagos?

  37. Ikie onovwakpo lincoln

    Thanks a lot sir! So interesting and revealing. But can I get your number to call you or WhatsApp you? Another important question here: Please I would like to know the class of drugs that patent medicine store owners are legally and medically licensed by PCN and NAPPMED to handle and sell or disperse.

    1. Mostly many over the counter drugs are OK. I do not know if you can sell ethical drugs but I advise you make your findings.

  38. Thank you for this very useful information. I have been thinking of running my own chemist and offer additional support in the area of primary healthcare as a nurse.

  39. I want to set up chemist shop. Can I treat patients? Please reply me.

    1. Hi Toluwalope, yes you can treat patients but only by giving them first aid. Kindly refer serious cases to the hospitals for further treatment.

  40. Thank you so much for this excellent piece. Please sir, I’m a Community Health Practitioner and I hope to open a medicine shop soon because I have three years experience working in a pharmacy shop. Can I use my license and only register with NAPPMED? Or will I have to register with PCN and NAPPMED even with my license as a Community Health Practitioner?

    1. Hi Ruth, you need the approval of NAPPMED and the PCN to run a patent medicine store. Running a chemist store without their approval is at your own risk.

  41. Please can you help on how to get patent store suppliers

    1. Hi Omowumi, if you’re in Lagos State, you can check out medicine dealers in Mushin or you can go to Idumota and Surulere. You’ll find wholesalers and distributors there.

  42. Is it true that as a patent medicine dealer in Nigeria, there are certain drugs you can’t sell? Why please? I will also like to know if it’s a profitable business.

  43. Please how much can I get an operation license from PCN before setting up my chemist business?

  44. Please sir, I’m not a pharmacist or a nurse but I want to start up patent medicine store and put a well trained and educated nurse with certificate in charge of the place. Is it possible?

  45. And please sir, how will I go about the license? Like how much is it going to cost me?

  46. Good morning sir, I am Mercy by name and there is some thing so confusing can an auxiliary nurse open a small registered medicine store? Please I need you to make me understand.

  47. Thanks so much for the writeup sir. My question is what is the ideal opening and closing time for a patent medicine store owner? Also, what is the inventory apart from drugs? Is cotton wool, methylated spirit and the likes part of the inventory?

  48. Registration with nappmed is it compulsory?

  49. Perfectly good, well written very understandable and quite educative, thanks very much sir, I just want to ask sir, me that did not go to pharmacy school to obtain certificate, if I learn it from those pharmacists around my community, can I be given the grace to open my own,after the learning? And also will PCN allow me to open a patent medicine store since I don’t have the university certificate? Or will I be allowed to open it but have my license through them and register through NAPPMED since I have gather some knowledge from where I learn it? And also please sir like how many years will I use to learn it from those pharmacist out there? Please sir I need your answers to my question urgently sir.

  50. This is very educative, I have a question, I am a licenced nurse with 10 years working experience, and I want to open a patent medicine store in Nigeria, do I need to be licenced by PCN again?

    1. Hi Loveth, before you can be allowed to do business as a patent medicine store owner in Nigeria, the relevant authorities must licence you, else you will be at risk of operating an illegal business.

      1. Christian ihesiaba

        Thanks,I have learned chemist for six years and I have rent My shop but I have never get certificate base on say money never come can I start now then after some month I will register can I do that

  51. Where is PCN office in Ibadan if I want to register? Can someone help out?

    1. Rhodes Oluwapelumi

      Thanks for the information sir. This is educative enough but please is there a number one can call for more guideline? 🙏🙏🏻

      1. Hi Rhodes, to contact the admin, kindly send a mail to

    2. How much is NAMPPED registration?

  52. I have about 12 years working as a sales representative with different pharmaceutical companies and I have sold and trained on drug knowledge, can that suffice to open a patent medicine store? I am a chemist by profession.

  53. Hi, can I start a patent medicine store without learning it under anybody? And also can I start after registering with the appropriate bodies?

  54. Good day sir,I’m an Auxiliary nurse with over 9years experience all my life I’ve worked in big hospitals and I have huge experience about medicals, emergency and little about medicines or drugs. Now I want to settle myself with a business and so what crosses my mind is chemist store where I can sell medicines and also give frist aid to emergency situation so I ran into this beautiful discussion I’m glad I did because I’ve learnt how to go about my registration from your explanation.

    Thanks a lot, God bless you more sir. But I have an urgent question sir. The license PCN and the CAC can I use the same license I get in Abuja to open a chemist shop in Owerri since it’s still my name? Like I’m relocating from Abuja to Owerri. Thank you sir. I will appreciate if I get my reply.

  55. Hi Jossy, I will advise you visit the nearest CAC and PCN office to get clarity on this.

  56. Please sir can an Auxiliary Nurse open a patent medicine store in Nigeria?

    1. Hi Tobi, yes an Auxiliary Nurse can open a patent medicine store in Nigeria but you must first get the permission of NAPPMED.

  57. NAPPMED yes but PCN no. Can I still register my patent medicine store in Nigeria with CAC?

  58. I’m an auxiliary nurse, registered with NAPPMED. Can I buy goods worth of ₦2 million?

  59. The steps are quite understandable and straightforward. I look forward to registering my patent medicine store in Nigeria according to the PCN and fulfill all the required procedure. I’m much impressed with the guidelines.

  60. I have learned chemist, but I want to open my shop before I study pharmacy in the university, is it possible?

  61. Thank you so much for this piece. May I know pls… Do these regulations affect one starting a wholesale Chemist business in the drug market not along the street??

  62. hello sir, I learnt that NDLEA also disturb the patent medicine dealers and used to even seal their shops sometimes.. Are they (chemists) supposed to register with NDLEA too??

  63. Sir, I’m in Anambra State, Please where can I get Licence (PCN)?

  64. Hello sir, please can someone with ND pharmaceutical technology open a chemist in Nigeria?

    1. Hi Joy, kindly contact NAPPMED in your area for the requirements there, thank you.

  65. Thank you so much for this guidelines, God bless you sir.

  66. What if I found a suitable location but unfortunately someone else is already operating opposite the location but without been licensed. So my question now is what if I first him to obtain license will I be allowed to opprate in the place?

    1. Hi Ifeanyi, for the avoidance of trouble, get a place that is not too close to your competitors

  67. Please sir, are there certain drugs a patent medicine store can sell?

  68. I want to open a Wholesale medicine shop, not for dispensing of drugs to individuals but for the Chemist stores to be buying from me. My question is how do I go about it, and what are the necessary requirements needed to establish such wholesale store in Delta State?

  69. Good evening sir. I’m certified in public health, can I use the certificate to open a patent chemist store?

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