Pharmacy Chain Stores

Pharmacy retail business is one of the most profitable businesses in healthcare industry. The total Indian retail pharmacy market is growing at an average of 18% per year over the last few years, and is anticipated to grow by even higher numbers in the future.

What is a Pharmacy Store?

A pharmacy store is retail counter which deals in dispensing and compounding of drugs and medicines. 
Pharmacy business in India is regulated through Drug and Cosmetic Act & Rules and there is requirement of retail drug license for operating pharmacy and drug store in India. Requirement of pharmacist is necessary for taking retail drug license in India. Pharmacist is a person who is responsible for carry out or supervise all activity of pharmacy or drug store. 

What is Pharmacy Chain?

When a pharmacy store organisation consists of four or more pharmacy stores, it is known as  Pharmacy Chain Stores. In simple word, when an organisation or individual set-up/open more than four medical store or pharmacy, it is come under Pharmacy Chains. 

In 1978, there were roughly 125,000 retail pharmacies in India. Today, the total the number of pharmacies is more than 18-19 lakh. But out of this figure, only small fraction of pharmacies is organised retail pharmacy around 10 to 20 thousands. Within this number too, there are majorly 3 main players, which contribute to about 65-70% of the total organised pharmacy market business.

Pharmacy Chains are fall under organised pharmacy market business because it works in organised way with SOP though out all pharmacy stores. Pharmacy chains staff consists of pharmacists, helpers and management.

Chain pharmacy organisation expands their business through by opening more own medical stores, providing franchise of their brand to existing or new pharmacy owners, opening hospital pharmacies and selling through online pharmacy etc. Chain pharmacy stores are small percent of highly fragmented with over seven lakh retail stores across the country under pharma retail business.

Chains pharmacy stores sells prescription medicines and OTC medicines, FMCG products, ayurvedic and herbal products, vitamins and other nutrition supplements, and optical, medical devices, laboratory services etc. Few chain pharmacies also provide physician consultation services.

Apollo Pharmacy is India’s biggest player in chain pharmacy with having more than 2500 stores across 18 states and adding more stores each year, all of them owned and operated.

Medplus, the second largest pharmacy chain in India with having more than 1550 stores out of which 1317 are company owned, 159 are franchisee owned and 43 are hospital-based pharmacies. Medplus is dominant in southern and East India. 

How to Start Pharmacy Chain Store?

For starting a pharmacy chain, you need to prepare a complete business plan and act as per plan. Opening a single pharmacy store doesn't require much difficulty as you can handle its all activity by yourself but when come to opening a chain of pharmacies then you can't handle all medical store by your own. You will need staff and a SOP (standard operating procedure) to run it efficiently. 

Procedure to set-up pharmacy chain business:

  • Prepare a business plan
  • Prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) so every store that is to be set-up under your pharmacy chain work in similar way.
  • Look-up a prime location at area where you want to set-up your first medical store.
  • Consult a interior design for creating a theme that you can use for all your future stores.
  • Choose a professional name for your set-up
  • You may register your set-up under company act or you can work only as a firm
  • Appoint Pharmacist for your medical store
  • Complete all furnishing related to interior and decoration.
  • Apply for retail drug license number
  • Apply for GST number as have decided to take your start-up at high level
  • Purchase a software that will manage all your inventory, purchase, sell, invoicing etc. More importantly it should be multi user and inter connected to be used at your every chain store.
  • Appoint helping staff
  • Establish your first pharmacy store
  • Advertise and promote your brand
  • Once your first medical store starts to run efficiently, you can move forward to set-up your second pharmacy store by choosing a prime location for your store.
  • Appoint pharmacist for another store
  • Complete interior decoration as per your previous pharmacy store
  • Apply for retail drug license for second pharmacy store 
  • Install software as discussed above and start working as per SOP you have built.
  • Establish it and move fr third one
  • By this way, you can open as many as pharmacy chain to set-up pharmacy chain store business

Important things to consider:

  • You will require to appoint separate pharmacist for each store.
  • You will have to add all places under your GST number that you have opened at different locations
  • As your chain pharmacies are going to be handled by your employee i.e. pharmacists then you need to build a SOP so you or any authorized person can audit all process periodically.
  • In future you can also provide franchise of your chain stores if you manage to build your chain pharmacy a brand.

List of Pharmacy Chains in India:

  • Medplus 
  • Apollo Pharmacy
  • Medlife
  • Noble plus Pharmacy & Skincare
  • Wellness Forever Pharmacy
  • 98.4 Pharmacy
Online Pharmacies in India:
  • Medlife
  • Medplus Mart
  • 1mg

List of Pharmacy Chains in America:

  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart stores inc
  • Rite Aid Corporation
  • Kroger Company
  • Kaiser Permanente (HMO)
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Medicine Shoppe International
  • Dominick’s Finer Foods
  • Publix Pharmacies
  • Costco Pharmacies
  • Hy-Vee Inc
  • Winn-Dixie Pharmacies
  • Giant Eagle Pharmacy
  • Meijer Pharmacies
  • Cardinal Health Inc
  • H E Butt Drug Stores
  • Fred’s Inc
  • Stop & Shop Supermarket Co
  • Giant Food Stores LLC
  • Fred Meyer Pharmacy Division
  • Smith's Food & Drug Centers Inc
  • Shoprite Supermarkets Inc

Hope above information is helpful to you...
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Keywords:Pharmacy business idea, pharmacy business in india, pharmacy chain business plan, retail pharmacy business, medical business plan, retail chain pharmacy business


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