How to Start Up an Online Pharmacy in Nigeria

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On 19 July 2022, the Federal Government released a gazette. This article provides enlightenment on the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act – Online Pharmacy Regulations 2020.

If you’ve been thinking about how to start up an online pharmacy in Nigeria, this update is crucial for you to cross that frontier.

It lists all requirements for registration, licensing, monitoring, and the day-to-day running of online pharmacies in Nigeria.

This is exciting because this signifies the dawn of a new age in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry!

But before we burst out the bubbly and masterful legwork, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what you need to open an online pharmacy in Nigeria.

Registration and Licensing

  • Register your online pharmacy with the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (specifically, an application for registration should be made to the registrar)
  • The superintendent of your pharmacy should apply for registration with these documents:
    • Application letter for registration of online pharmaceutical services
    • The current annual license of the Superintendent Pharmacist
    • A photocopy of the current premises registration license or evidence of current registration of the premises
    • Evidence of payment of prescribed fees to the Council
    • Company’s certificate of incorporation
    • Articles and memorandum of association
    • Certified CAC documents
    • NYSC exemption or discharge certificate
    • An undertaking by the Superintendent Pharmacist to be held accountable for the services offered on the online platform
    • An undertaking by the Managing Director of the online company to the effect that online pharmaceutical services will be under the direct control and management of the Superintendent Pharmacist
  • You should make the name and qualification of the Superintendent Pharmacist and all other professionals involved in the operation available online.
  • You should make the physical address of the pharmacy available online
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Note: The online pharmacy license will expire on the 31, of December every year and be due for renewal on the 1st day of January of the following year.

Inspection, Monitoring, and Enforcement

After you’ve completed your registration, you’re free to run your pharmacy as you please.

We kid… No, you’re not.

Next comes a thorough inspection, by PCN, of:

  • Any premises which host the online pharmacy
  • Any article or records in the premises reasonable believed or suspected to be used or can be used for the manufacture, preparation, preservation, storage, or sales of items covered by the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria Act
  • The backend of the site or platform in the event of a breach of regulations
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Operation of The Online Pharmacy

The council expects every online pharmacy to

  • Make their site user-friendly and interactive to ensure mechanisms for:
    • Consultancy services to patients and clients
    • Educating patients concerning medications and disease states
    • Contacting patients regarding delays in delivering prescriptions
    • Reporting adverse drug interactions and medication errors
  • Implement good pharmacy practice on their sites regarding dispensing prescription-only medications which include a system to ensure the integrity, legitimacy, and validity of prescription drug orders.
  • Comply with relevant laws regarding sales and dispensing of OTC drugs
  • Not sell any drugs listed in the Dangerous Drugs Act online.
  • It is apparent that PCN is placing a priority on accountability. This new regulation will also help fish out fake pharmacies which can erode the confidence customers have in this new avenue of service.
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With this guide in your hands, you can navigate the world of online pharmacies with confidence and look ahead to the future of pharmacy in Nigeria with hope.

 

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