The pharmacy profession in Nigeria is regulated by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. To register a pharmacy premises in Nigeria, you have to fulfill certain obligations and satisfy the rules and regulations as stipulated by the governing body.
It should be noted that you don’t have to be a pharmacist to own a pharmacy. All you have to do is to make sure you get a pharmacist to be a part of the business and help with the registration and day-to-day running of the pharmacy business.
PCN registers all forms of pharmacy business ranging from retail, wholesale, manufacturing to hospital pharmacy. In this article, our focus is on retail pharmacy.
To register a pharmacy premises in Nigeria involves 2 steps:
- Registration with CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission)
- Registration with PCN (Pharmacists Council of Nigeria)
Register with C.A.C
The first step in registering a pharmacy premise is to get a brand name for your business. This is a very necessary identity for every business to differentiate itself from others. The Corporate Affairs Commission is the agency in Nigeria concerned with incorporating and registering new businesses.
The good news is that the process can be done largely online. Before now, you will be required to go to the C.A.C office and go through a lot of time-wasting paper works. The procedure for registering a name with C.A.C is as follows:
Visit the official website and check for available names here. Since no two businesses can have the same names, the C.A.C commission will only approve a name that has not been used. Make sure you chose a suitable name that reflects your brand.
You will have to sign up, using a valid email address. Make sure you use a valid email address, as you must have to verify your email. Fill in the relevant information like name, country, phone number, address, nationality, and National Identity Number ( N.IN)
Submit your business name for a reservation for a fee of N500. This process must be completed before 5 pm. You should provide information like name and type of business, business objective, presenter details, and then pay the fee of N500. You can pay online through Remita.
A receipt will be generated for you. You can print the name if your computer is connected to a printer or take a screenshot if you are using a mobile device.
The next procedure is to complete a pre-registration form (CAC-BNo1) and update some relevant information like the official email address of the business.
A lawyer is needed for you to complete the form in section E – statutory declaration of compliance with the requirements of CAMA.
After filling every document, a CAC registration fee (starting from N10,000), which varies depending on the nature of the company, is paid. Stamp duty is also paid. You then have to scan these documents and upload them as pdfs:
- Approval Note printout.
- CAC Payment Receipt,
- Registration Form CAC 1.1,
- Identification of Directors and Shareholders,
- Stamp Duty Certificate,
- Memorandum, and
- Articles of Association.
After registration, it will take some time before the C.A.C will approve your business name. A notification will be sent to your email to visit the CAC branch office you registered with to collect your business certificate.
Registration with Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)
Every pharmacy-related business, whether community, hospital, or industry, is registered with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is a federal government regulatory agency formed in 1992 (Act 91). The Registration of Pharmaceutical Premises Regulations, 2005 added some necessary requirements to the registration process.
Here are the steps to register with PCN:
1. Get a good location and space:
The location must at least be 30sqm to 40sqm or bigger. It is also necessary to maintain a 200 meters distance from any other pharmacy. The location must be clean and not inside a marketplace.
2. Application letter to register a premise:
Write an application letter to PCN requesting approval of the registration of the pharmacy. This step is done by a pharmacist ( superintendent pharmacist) and costs N10,000.
Once the location is approved, you can add essential items such as air conditioners, poison books, furniture to the premise. If the location is not approved, you can write an appeal to PCN.
3. Application for registration of the pharmacy outlet
You will apply for the registration of the premises once approval is given. There will be an inspection by the PCN team to make sure the venue satisfies the standard conditions of pharmacy practice.
If you are not a pharmacist, you do not need to be at the venue during the inspection. The superintendent pharmacist or the pharmacist on the board of directors will do so on your behalf.
If they are satisfied, you will be given a go-ahead to pay for the license and registration. The documents are submitted to the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria through the Director of Pharmaceutical Services (DPS) in the state where the pharmacy will be located. The documents needed are:
- Completed forms B and J (Form B is the PCN Application form for registration of premises and Form J is an annual licence to practice /application for retention of name on the Pharmaceutical Register)
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memorandum and Article of Association
- Certified True Copy of Form C. 07 showing the names and particular of the Pharmacist Directors.
- Appropriate fee in bank draft (inquire about the fee at the PCN office and pay online 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 the new pharmacist or the Exemption Certificate.
For pharmacist-owned pharmacy premises, you will have to provide the CAC Certificate of Incorporation, CAC forms CO2 and CO7, Superintendent Pharmacist Licence, Letter stating that you only have one full-time job.
For non-pharmacists, additional documents include:
- Appointment and acceptance letters of the Superintendent pharmacist
- A Letter granting full control of the operation to the Superintendent pharmacist
- A legal agreement between the Superintendent pharmacist and the Managing Director.
- A Letter notifying the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria of appointment of a Superintendent Pharmacist
Note that only registered pharmacist-owned premises shall display the Pharmaceutical
Society of Nigeria (PSN) Pharmacy Emblem.
Once the whole requirements are met, you will be given an operational license. You can now equip the pharmacy with genuine drugs.