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Home BUSINESS IDEAS How to Start a Lucrative Pharmacy Business in Nigeria

How to Start a Lucrative Pharmacy Business in Nigeria

Do you want to learn how to start a lucrative local pharmacy store business in Nigeria? You are on the right page. 

If you spend a little time here, your eyes and mind will be opened to one of the money-making businesses in Nigeria that is also recession-proof. No bad economic weather from this business.

Do you know that Nigerians spend over N300 billion every year on malaria treatment alone? 

Let me tell you my personal story: in the town where I spent my childhood, my father owned a chemist store. After the school hour, we were presented with only two options: to spend the remaining hours of the day in his shop or my mother’s shop. 

I prefer my mother’s shop to my father’s own because of some reasons best known to me. But, as fate had it, I spent some time in his shop too. 

Right from my childhood, I have been a curious person, and I always question things, patterns, environments, and rules—just everything. 

What’s this, what’s that. Who is this, who is that? Why this, why that. And this has taught me a lot. They say curiosity is one of the most important habits to have in this life. 

Spending time in his shop made me have an idea about how money is made in the business. And the profitable the business is. The ROI, the margin, and the most sought-after products. 

In the town, there were abundant mosquitoes and inadequate drainage systems. They treated malaria a lot because of mosquito bites. 

They were majorly farmers and traders, and few of the town’s men were office workers. They bought painkillers like water. And they treated typhoid too. 

I never heard my father make any complaint about sales. No matter how little, the flow of income was always there. 

My research informs me that a lot has not changed. These are the illnesses people treat most of the time in Nigeria now. 

The profit margin on most the brands of medicine is 50%. There are some scarce drugs that they make up to 100% of gross profit. 

There are some drugs you buy for N1, 000 and you sell them to consumers for N1, 500. Some are even sold for N2, 000. Do you see how profitable the business is? 

If you can start and run this business, I’m encouraging you to go into it now. The business is very lucrative when it is set up and managed properly.

In this blog post, I will present you with good information about how to start a lucrative pharmacy store business in Nigeria.

Let’s dive in!

What’s the pharmacy business?

The pharmacy business is a retail kind of business where you sell prescribed and nonprescribed medicine to people who wants to buy at profitable prices. 

Customers walk into your store and make orders for the kind of drugs they want to buy, and you sell to them at the price higher than what you bought.

There are over 240 million people in Nigeria. They buy drugs every day. They have one or two illnesses to take care of. Can you see huge opportunities to make money? 

Why starting a pharmacy business in Nigeria

Nigeria is a big market. There are more than 240 million people living in Nigeria. They buy things they want every day—which drugs are among the basic necessities to make life worthy to live for them.

The pharmacy business in Nigeria is very lucrative. It’s a multibillion naira market. If you position yourself well with innovations, you can take a good share of the market and make serious money you may never have thought about in your life.

It’s encouraging to start the business because recessions do not affect it. If people don’t have money to buy drugs, they solicit it from family and friends. They even go to the extent of taking loans from banks. This means regular patronage is sure for your business. 

There are many people who have been placed on recommended drugs for life. if they want to stay alive and healthy, they must be taking certain types of recommended drugs and supplements. 

Old age comes with health issues. Old age is not kind to everybody. Most of the old people you see around nurture high blood pressure and they must not joke with their drug intake except they are tired to live. 


A lot of them forget to buy their drugs on time before they are finished. If you have like hundred old people that buy hypertensive drugs from you, imagine how much you will be making. 

If you are innovative in your business, you can be reminding them to buy drugs when they are about to finish them. You can be doing home delivery too. 

I deal with old people in business. They will gladly recommend your pharmacy to their friends and family members.

Our population in Nigeria is growing. New babies are born every hour in the country. 

Babies need drugs and supplements immediately they step into this world. Young couples don’t know much about the right drugs to buy. 

You can help them with this when the needs arise, and guess what? They will be your customers for life.

You should start a pharmacy store business in Nigeria because of its potential. There is no limit to the level you can grow the business to. The business can serve as an agent of change in society. You can start so many other businesses beneath the pharmacy store. 

Most of us feel the need to contribute better to society naturally. You can make a good impact on the lives of people through this business. You save lives and encourage healthy living. 

You can become a multi-billionaire in this business. If you want to become seriously wealthy in life, the pharmacy business can pave the way for you. If you are in doubt, look around and research, you will read about many people whose lives have become better because they started this business. 

Step-by-step guide on how to start a pharmacy business in Nigeria

I assume you don’t know much about the pharmacy business in Nigeria. This is why I’m laying down the easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to start a lucrative pharmacy business in Nigeria. If you follow these steps and take the required actions, you won’t only make serious money in this business, but you will also be happy. 

1. Register your business

The first step to take when are ready to start a pharmacy business in Nigeria is to register your business. You can register your business/company name only, and you can as well register as a limited liability company. The latter is more expensive than the former. 

One of the advantages of having a limited liability company is your business is open to investors and partnerships. You can take loans from banks. Your business will be regarded as a proper business. 

The Corporate Affairs Commission is the government agency in charge of the incorporation of companies in Nigeria. They have offices around the country. They are mostly situated in the state capitals. 

The good news is that you can now register your business name yourself without needing the help of a lawyer or an agent. All can be done on the CAC website. 

But in the case of registering a limited liability company, you will need help from a lawyer or an agent.

However, if you find the business name registration difficult to do on your own, kindly seek help from an expert. It will save you time, and will also prevent you from making mistakes that cannot be corrected later on. 

Do you need help with the registration of your company/business? Please, click here to reach out to me, and I will gladly assist you. 

2. Get licensed

You need to have a license to run a pharmacy business anywhere in Nigeria. Truly, pharmacists are the only people permitted to open a pharmaceutical store in Nigeria. However, as you are not a pharmacist, you can partner with one to secure the licence. You will be using his certificate in your store, and he will stand as the owner of it. 

The cost of this depends on what you agree on with him/her. And mostly, the agreement is reviewed and renewed every year. 

Pharmacists Council of Nigeria issues a licence to the pharmaceutical store owners in Nigeria. They inspect stores and ensure that owners abide by the code of operations. 

One of the things they check for on their visit is the availability of at least a pharmacist in the store. You must have at least one you can call when the need arises. 

A pharmacy store must also be at least 20 metres away from another pharmacy.

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If you have a huge capital to start, you can consider going for a franchise. It will reduce the stress of securing a licence and looking for a pharmacist to partner with. You will just make the payment, sign an agreement for the franchise, and start the business. 

The likes of Medplus, Pharmplus, and Healthplus give franchises to people who want to go into the business. They have rules and regulations and requirements. If you are able to meet up with them, they will come and inspect your store and brand it for you.

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3. Have a business plan

The place of a business plan in your business cannot be filled by anything else than the business plan itself. Its importance cannot be overemphasized especially in a multimillion naira business like this. 

A business plan serves as a guide, and compass to your business success. It’s a document you can always go back to if you want to audit your business. 

It explains everything in detail on what to do, when and how. 

You need to have a business plan for your pharmaceutical business. 

There is no need for you to worry about preparing a business plan for yourself. You can seek the help of an expert. 

As a consultant for businesses and individuals, I help people to craft workable business plans to record success in their business endeavours. 

Need a business plan? Click here to chat with me on WhatsApp. 

3. Get your capital ready

To start a pharmacy business in Nigeria, you need to have the capital to begin. And it has to be reasonable enough to cater for business needs at the beginning.

You need money to secure a license from the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria. You need money to rent a shop/store. You need money to stock up on products. You need money to arrange your shop/store. 

The capital you need varies. It depends on how big you want the business to be. 

However, you should have like N3 million naira in place. And do not take loans. Money can be raised from families and friends and through partnerships.

When you are done with this step, you can move on to the next step.

4. Rent a store/shop in a good location

You need to have a physical shop/store if you want to run a pharmacy business in Nigeria.

A store/shop has to be rented in a good location to make money from this business in Nigeria. 

What kind of shop do you need for this business? It should be a shop/store in an open place where people can easily locate and access with no difficulty at all. 

Customers must be able to describe the place to people in a few sentences. 

Do not get me wrong. You can sell online as well, but people tend to like a place where they can easily branch more than just an online store. 

When you finally rent a place, as you are selling there, you can be selling online too. 

5. Set up the shop/store

Now, you are in the setting up phase. You set up the shop for products and business for customers. You construct shelves or you buy ready-made metal ones to display drugs. You label each section and arrange them accordingly. 

The malaria drugs should be displayed beside typhoid drugs. And antibiotics should not be far too. You put a name on each section of the shelve. 

The tables, the chairs, the waiting chairs, the electronics, I think you should have an idea of what a pharmacy looks like. 

Once you are done with setting up the shop, you can proceed to the next step.

6. Stock up the store/shop

This is the buying phase. You stock up on the products you intend to sell in your store/shop. But how do you get the products? There are mainly three ways of getting drugs to sell in Nigeria. 

You can buy from pharmaceutical companies directly. You go to the company and make orders for drugs. And once your order is ready, you will be notified. 

This is good if you are buying in large quantities as pharmaceutical companies don’t answer small quantities customers. They refer them to their field marketers.

You will just arrange for the motor to convey them to your place. Though, some pharmaceutical companies handle the logistics themselves. 

This is better for pharmaceutical shop/store owners as they won’t be stopped and harassed by the police. When police see branded pharmaceutical company motors, they don’t bother to query them. 

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You can also be buying drugs from the Lagos Island market called Idumota. The place where drugs are sold at wholesale prices is not too far from Oba’s palace. 

Anywhere you are in Lagos, board a bus to Adeniji. Then take another bus from Adeniji to Idumota. Tell the conductor or driver that you want to alight at where they sell medicine in bulk. Now, you are there. 

You can also be buying from pharmaceutical companies’ field sales reps and marketers. They will be visiting your shop anytime they are in your area for sales and marketing. 

After buying the drugs to sell in your pharmacy store/shop, you can now place them on your arranged and labelled shelves. After this step, the business is almost set. Let’s move 

7. Promote the business

Welcome to the final step of how to start a pharmacy business in Nigeria. The final step is the promotion stage. The main aim of promoting the business is to make sales to bring profits for the business. 

How can you promote the business? Actually, the promotion of the business began on the day you rented the shop/store because having your shop in a good location is one of the available evergreen methods of promoting your business. 

You should have a signboard with your name on it for people to notice your store/shop no matter how small it is. And it should be a modern one that has bulbs in it for night display. 

You should not forget to add your business on Google map. Nowadays, people google search anything. When I do keyword research, I see sentences like “Barber near me”, “pharmacy near me”, “pharmacy store in Ikeja”, etc. 

Imagine how much this will be bringing in for your business if your page gets displayed on the first page of search results. Once you have a customer, he will always come back except if the drug is fake or expensive. 

More so, you can step ahead of your competitors by offering free malaria tests to people. See, no one is totally free from Malaria in Nigeria. It is just that some people have it low, while some have it high. 

If you run a test on 10 people, there is the possibility of 9 of them having malaria. After the test, you sell malaria drugs and antibiotics to them lower than what they buy. 

They already know the price. They will perceive this as a favour if you sell to them inexpensively. 

Then you tell them to come and get multivitamins three days after they complete the dosage. You can even collect their phone numbers to remind them. 

Not all of them will show up, but you will definitely make some money, and the rest we remember your shop when they want to treat malaria again. 

You can design eye-catching flyers, and put them in hospitals, restaurants, food canteens, and supermarkets around you. This will enable many residents to know about your business and what you are offering. 

There are so many many things you can do to promote the business. If you act on the aforementioned ones, you will make money surely–consistently. 

Wrapping things up

Starting and running a pharmacy business is lucrative for anyone if the necessary actions are taken at the right time. All businesses in this world have one or more challenges. Facing them makes a thing to be worthwhile. 

I can guarantee you success if you do all you are supposed to do, running a pharmacy business in Nigeria

Please, do let me know if you have any questions, contributions or contrary opinions about this information. Simply leave comments below. I would really love to hear from you. 

Do you need my assistance on anything? Send me a message, and I will gladly assist you.

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Usman Atanda
My name is Usman Atanda - the man behind I'm a serial hustler from Lagos, Nigeria. Here at, I cover topics such as Business Ideas, Side Hustle Tips, Business Tips, Side Hustle Ideas and much more. My ultimate goal is to make the building legitimate and lucrative small businesses and side hustle to be achievable.

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