Starting an independent pharmacy is like a dream for the majority of Pharmacists. It’s a big step to be taken by anyone because it requires capital and skills like administration and management.
In most cases, a huge investment is required to start Pharmacies and medical stores. Such facilities are usually established in areas where the chances of selling medicines will increase, and the ailing people can easily access them. Such places include hospitals and densely populated areas.
Property/shop for this purpose can either be acquired on a rent or ownership basis. One should keep in mind that the pharmacy shall only become operational after getting a license from the concerned drug inspector under the Drug Act 1976. The license is granted only when the concerned authorities considered the shop/place/area suitable for such activities.
The requirement to open a pharmacy
The most important and basic requirement to open a pharmacy is a license. A license is granted to a person who has obtained a degree in Pharmacy (Category A) from a University or a two years diploma (Category B) from an institute, recognized by the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan (PCP). If a person doesn’t have the above-mentioned qualification and still wants to start a medical store or Pharmacy, then he will have to hire a qualified person.
Facilities required in a Pharmacy or a medical store.
Different facilities are required in a medical store, the list of which is given below.
Shelves or racks, preferably made of glass. It is also acceptable if made from other materials (wood, steel, etc.)
Chairs and counter
Shall cover the front of Pharmacy completely with the help of glass.
Computer, printer, and software. Small setups don’t require these facilities, but big and professional pharmacies cant be managed without the latest automation tools. It will require the latest computer (not less than the core I 3 series) and pharmacy management software.
Items to be sold in Pharmacy
In addition to medicine, other daily use materials by the patients can also be sold in a medical store or pharmacy. Such items may include
Soaps, lotions, creams
Toothbrushes, kinds of toothpaste
Shaving creams, razors, talcum powders, perfumes.
Items used by children, e.g., milk, feeders, breast pump, infant car seat stroller, diapers, etc.
Items required for elder people, e.g., wheelchairs, supporting tools, Toilet seat riser, Disposable incontinence under-pads, mobility aids, etc.
How much does it cost to start a Pharmacy or a Medical store?
Well, it’s not an easy question to answer—all it depends on the type of setup you want to establish. If you are going to start a professional and state-of-the-art pharmacy, then defiantly its cost will be much higher, and certainly, it’s not the option for newbies. There is advice from the market gurus “not put all your eggs in a single basket.”
How to start an independent pharmacy in minimum investment
You have to start from a low-level setup and need to get some practical experience first if you are new in this field. One can start an independent pharmacy with minimum resources. You don’t need a huge investment in this case due to several reasons, which include;
the rental value of the property,
a less expensive and small number of products to be kept in a Pharmacy and;
the limited workforce required.
A pharmacist can also offer some relevant services in his/her medical store like checking Blood pressure, blood, and glucose level and giving consultative services to ailing people. Such services will build the people’s trust in the role of a pharmacist in the community and generate additional revenue.
These facilities can be provided while investing a minimal amount of money in the equipment used for this purpose. Even if you have the capital for opening a professional pharmacy, in that case, too, it is also not advisable to invest all of your money in one go. You can calculate an approximate amount of capital from the above-mentioned items required for a medical store and pharmacy.
It is also suggested that if you don’t have money and experience to start your independent pharmacy, do a job in any retail setup to get some hands-on experience and save some money.
Is opening a pharmacy profitable?
A simple answer to this question is a big YES, provided that you are attracting some visitors daily. Multinational pharmaceutical companies are giving a minimum of 13% of profit to retailers. The share increases to 15% in the majority of cases.
On the other hand, the share given to retailers by the local and national pharmaceutical companies is too much higher. It is in the range of 30 to 80%, and even in some cases, they give the retailer 100% profit on some of their products. Its simple means that if a retail price of Rs 100 is printed on a medicinal product, it would be given to the retailers on Rs 50.
From here, you can estimate the margin of profit in the pharmacy or medical store business. After a careful calculation, an average daily net earning of a pharmacy that is doing business of Rs 100,000/day would be not less than Rs 20000. So you can say this is a win-win situation, and if your share of sale is even small, then you can also earn a handsome profit every month.