How to start distribution business in Pharmaceutical Sector?

Pharmaceutical sector is regulated under Drug and Cosmetic Act & Rules, 1940. All activities i.e. manufacturing, marketing, distribution, retailing, dispensing is regulated under Act. For doing any of activity in pharmaceutical sector, one must take a license for performing that activity.

In this article, we will discuss about how you can start pharmaceutical distribution business. For starting pharmaceutical distribution business, you need to have following things:

Distribution of Pharmaceutical Company:

For starting distribution of pharmaceutical products, you should have distribution of at least one pharmaceutical company. You can take distribution of one or more pharmaceutical companies.

Procedure for taking distribution of a pharmaceutical Company:

Choose distribution type you want to indulge into i.e. prescription medicine distribution, generic, OTC, franchise, institution sale etc. Depend upon distribution types; you can contact pharmaceutical companies for distribution.

Prescription medicine distribution: Prescription medicines distributor appointment is generally handled by field staff i.e. medical representatives, area sales managers, zonal sales managers etc. You can contact them for distribution or fill distribution form of pharmaceutical company available at their website or other means or directly contact company for distribution. Depend upon company’s distributor appointment policy, company will contact you or appoint distributor.

Generic medicine distribution: Generic medicine distributors are also appointed by field staff but there is higher possibility in generic medicines; if you directly contact to pharmaceutical company, they will appoint you as distributor depend at conditions like no distributor available in your area, company policy of appointment of more than one distributor in one area and many more. If company has policy of providing monopoly rights then you can get distribution only when if there is no distributor available at your area.

Franchise medicine Distribution: Pharmaceutical Franchise distribution is done strictly at monopoly basis. You can directly contact to pharmaceutical companies who work on the basis of franchise marketing by finding contact information through google, their advertisement etc. If your area is vacant, you can start franchise distribution by taking distribution of pharmaceutical franchise company.

Over the counter medicine distribution: OTC products distributor appoint also follow same pattern of prescription medicines distribution.

Institutional Sales: Institutions includes hospitals, medical colleges, pharmacy chains and dispensaries etc that purchase medicines in bulk from distributors as per their weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly need. Pharmaceutical distributors can supply medicines to institutions. You can fill tender or get orders from institutions through your contacts and start distribution.

Other Distribution types: You can also distribution of surgical products, medical devices and bulk drugs distribution etc. after taking pharmaceutical distribution license. You can also work as carrying and forwarding agent work at your pharmaceutical distribution license.

Wholesale Drug License Number:

Wholesale drug license number is issued by District drug control office that is generally situated at district headquarter city. You can visit to District drug control office for apply for granting wholesale drug license for pharmaceutical distribution.


You will require following requirements:
  • Shop or premises having minimum of 10 square meter covered area with cemented walls and concrete roof.
  • Either you or your partner or authorized person should possess minimum of registered pharmacist or EP certificate.
  • Qualification for eligibility of EP certification is graduation with at least one year of experience at any pharmaceutical distribution firm.


Following documents is required to be submitted with application form for granting pharmaceutical distribution license:
  • Application form at prescribed format
  • Pharmacist/EP registration copy
  • Appointment letter of pharmacist or EP (In case of if you or your partner don’t have required qualification)
  • Prescribed Fee
  • Address proof Copy of proprietor/partners/EP/Pharmacist
  • Date of birth proof copy of EP/Pharmacist
  • Academic qualification certificate copy of EP/Pharmacist
  • Salary statement/experience certificate at letter pad in case new EP certificate
  • Premises possession proof i.e. registry copy, rent agreement etc
  • Refrigerator purchase bill photocopy
  • Affidavit of EP/Pharmacist
  • Constitution of Firm/Partnership deed for partnership firm/Registration firm receipt copy for private registration firm and list of directors with address proof, Memorandum of article of association etc
  • Affidavit of proprietor/partners/directors
  • Blueprint/layout plan of premises with signature in 3 copies
  • Adequate storage facilities required including cupboards with glass doors, racks, pallets, refrigerator etc.

About Goods & Service Tax number and FSSAI license, you can read by clicking at links above in beginning of article.

Steps involved in Starting Pharmaceutical Distribution Business:

Hope above information is helpful to you....


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