Can a nurse or pharmacy technician or a medical doctor or a non-pharmacist open a pharmacy in Nigeria? Can a nurse open a pharmacy in Nigeria

A pharmacy is a shop or hospital dispensary where medicinal drugs are prepared or sold. Pharmacy is known as a drugstore in American English. A pharmacy and ask chemist shop practically means the same thing and can be used interchangeably. However, in Nigeria, a pharmacy is seen as a big drugstore in city centres owned and headed by a certified pharmacist while a chemist shop is perceived to be a small drug store that can be owned by a non-pharmacist such as a nurse, pharmacy technician or technologist or anybody. A Chemist shop and a pharmacy technically means the same thing.

Now to the question of the day…

It is a common thing to hear questions like: “can a nurse open or own a pharmacy?”, “can a medical doctor open a pharmacy?, are community health extension workers (CHEWs) open a pharmacy? I have also been asked if medical doctors can own or open a pharmacy shop. Many non-pharmacists also want to know if it is possible to open a pharmacy store or drug store.

Well I am not a pharmacist but this I got from a friend of mine who is a pharmacist…

In his words to NIMEDHEALTH:

“Community pharmacy business and establishing of pharmacy stores is fast growing in Nigeria. Community pharmacy is operated by a registered pharmacist who lare under the direct supervision of the pharmacist council of Nigeria (PCN). However, so many people want to open a community pharmacy. Most of these people are not pharmacists. I keep receiving questions on who is eligible to open a community pharmacy store or drug store. Most people ask if a registered nurse, a pharmacy technician or medical doctor can open a community pharmacy shop. Even community health extension workers (CHEW) and other paramedics wish they can open one.”

Can a nurse open a pharmacy in Nigeria
Can non-pharmacists open a pharmacy shop in Nigeria?

“The answer is capital NO. No registered nurse, pharmacy technician, medical doctor or even a CHEW can open a pharmacy in Nigeria according to law. The NIGERIAN laws are very clear on this. …only a pharmacist is permitted to own and open a pharmacy…Any other profession other than a pharmacist with a pharmacy store is criminal.”

An investigation by, revealed that many non-pharmacists (nurses, pharmacy technicians, medical doctors, CHEWS, paramedics, and even persons not in the health profession) own pharmacy shops in Nigeria. The non-pharmacists use the license of certified pharmacists (at an agreed fee, say #500,000 Naira or more per year) to open a pharmacy..You know this is a common practice for those in the know.

PS: any individual (non-pharmacists) is permitted to open a patent medicine store (chemist store) so long you are ready to join their association – PATENT MEDICINE DEALERS OF NIGERIA. Chemist stores are not permitted to sell injectibles.

This is an intellectual property of nimedhealth


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here