How to Start an Online Pharmacy in Nigeria (2023)
Online pharmacy in Nigeria is gradually reaching its crest as it is now becoming generally accepted and as such this is the best time to Start an Online Pharmacy in Nigeria.
The pharmacy business in Nigeria has moved from the conventional method of relying solely on the ancient base of running a pharmacy business to an advanced one. Most prominent pharmacy firms have moved into the online Pharmacy in Nigeria dimension and are breaking new ground in it.
The things that make online pharmacy outstanding is the ease with which it saves the clients the stress and traffic (most especially in Lagos state where traffic has become the order of the day) of going to purchase their drugs from the pharmacy outlet.
This convincing way of purchasing drugs is well-accepted by online clients. It saves the energy of the sellers too, as everything is automated and works perfectly well; prices and discounts when available.
There are quite a good number of existing online pharmacy stores in Nigeria today, and so many upcoming ones.
There is no limit to what you can buy from the online pharmacy as you can purchase both prescription drugs and the over counter drugs; including supplements and pharmaceuticals.
All you have to do is simply go to the Online pharmacy website and place your orders, make payments and you will have the drugs delivered to your door steps.
Starting an online pharmacy in Nigeria has very transparent guidelines that the starter has to follow. When these guidelines are set by the pharmacist council of Nigeria; PCN is followed, and you can comfortably start your online pharmacy at your own pace.
Reading through this article, you will not only understand how to start an online pharmacy but also start an online pharmacy following the guidelines.
Steps To Start An Online Pharmacy In Nigeria
Starting an online pharmacy is a good and lucrative facet of the pharmacy business that everyone that wants to last long and make more profit in the pharmacy business should venture into.
It doesn’t require as much capital as that of the physical pharmacy business, even though both can work hand in hand. With the way technology Is gradually advancing, opting for online pharmacy is highly encouraged.
Below are all-encompassing steps and guidelines on how to start an online pharmacy in Nigeria:
Online Pharmacy Registration and Licensing
In starting an online pharmacy in Nigeria, you will need to register with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria; PCN just like community pharmacies.
To register an online pharmacy in the current country, you must have an offline physical store registered with the PCN. You need to do this to be able to determine on your website whether the buyer/patient can come to your offline store to get their medicine purchased online or if it will be delivered.
Register the pharmacy online with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria; PCN (in particular, the application must be submitted to the Registrar).
The license to operate an online pharmacy expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed on January 1 of the following year. The pharmacy director must apply with the following documents: first the Online Pharmacy Services Application Letter, then;
- Current superintendent Pharmacist’s annual license
- Copy of current establishment license or proof of current establishment registration
- Proof of payment of prescribed fees to the Board
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Terms, and Memorandum of Association
- Certified CAC Document
- Certificate of Exemption or Exit from NYSC
- The commitment of the Director Pharmacist responsible for the services provided on an online platform.
Commitment from the chief executive officer of the online company that the online pharmacy services will be under the direct control and management of the general manager pharmacist (name and qualification of the general manager pharmacist) and all other specialists involved in the operation are available online. The pharmacy’s physical address is available online).
After registering with the pharmacist council of Nigeria, it is very important that the physical pharmacy is well stocked with unexpired medicines so that you don’t have any problems with NAFDAC and that those medicines are sorted in a timely manner, orderly way, and easily accessible.
The pharmacy must be very clean and painted white (preferred color), and it must also be well air-conditioned to keep airborne medications at the right temperature.
Assessment, Monitoring, and Enforcement By PCN
PCN inspects online pharmacy archives, to determine the existence of regulatory violations (accountability is an absolute priority).
Most of the things that are checked are to make sure the site is interactive and easy to use; make provisions for prescription-only dispensing of drugs, Patient education about medications and medical conditions, ensure guarantee not to sell drugs listed in the Online Dangerous Drugs Act, contact patients about delays in providing prescriptions, comply with relevant laws regarding the sale and distribution of over-the-counter drugs prescription, and also report adverse drug interactions and medication errors.
Once you’ve received approval, you can start looking for reliable distributors who can supply you with all the medication you might need for your business to succeed moving forward.
Don’t forget to promote the online pharmacy through social media platforms and other forms of advertising to reach as many people as possible and let them know about your operation.
Should in case, social media is limiting your reach, you can develop a blog section for your online pharmacy website where you can discuss pharmacy and product details.
your audience so that your audience can be more informed to take action if needed, and for your audience to take action, your online pharmacy website design should be easy to use.
The website should also be designed to handle prescriptions, and make it very easy to download prescription sheets or receive prescriptions electronically. Make sure there is a registered pharmacist on-site to attend to your prescribing and advising needs.
Incorporate a great design on the online pharmacy website
The search option is essential so that online customers can enter the drugs they are looking for and see if those drugs are available (you can combine searches by active ingredients or symptoms; this is very useful on an online pharmacy website where a customer can see the products they want to buy). Next is an auto-complete feature that helps predict user intent.
This online pharmacy webpage also needs to include grammatical leniency (it predicts the nearest answer that the visitors are searching for after clicking search).
This is because mistakes are inevitable and many visitors don’t know the correct spelling of some drug names, which is why this feature is essential for your online pharmacy website.
Reason Why You Need To Start An Online Pharmacy In Nigeria Today
- It is a growing field of pharmacy business that has come to stay; Online pharmacy in Nigeria has come to stay and should be embraced by all.
- Online pharmacies are easily accessible as long as there is a good internet connection at the click of a button on your mobile device from the comfort of your home and you are sure to get the Medicines you order online delivered to your door. Even without leaving the house, you can find out which online pharmacy has the products you’re looking for and compare their prices online before shopping.
- Online pharmacies save buyers time and stress from walking here looking for remote offline pharmacies in case they don’t get the product they’re looking for. You don’t have to search for a particular drug in different pharmacies. In addition to the above, you can even get free consultations, check your BMI, order lab tests, and do much more on online pharmacy websites.
Read Also: How to Start Pharmacy Business in Nigeria
Starting an online pharmacy here in Nigeria is not rocket science. It is easily achievable by any serious-minded and goal-oriented personnel that is involved in the pharmacy business.
It just requires a few things; registration and licensing by the PCN boards, having a reputable physical premise that is registered with the CAC and PCN, and finally, having a good easy-to-use website with a high level of accountability.