Are you wondering how to open a pharmacy in the United Kingdom? Well, keep reading because it’s not that difficult.
The United Kingdom has a shortage of pharmacists, making it an ideal place to open your own pharmacy. However, there are a few steps you need to take in order to ensure your success.
Open your own pharmacy in the United Kingdom – Step by Step
1) Research the market and choose a location
Before you can even begin to think about opening your own pharmacy, you need to research the market and find a location that is right for your business. Look at demographics and consider what type of customer base you want to cater to. Once you have a general idea of where you want to open your pharmacy, start looking at specific locations. Consider foot traffic, parking availability, and competition when choosing your site.
2) Draw up a business plan
Once you have chosen a location, it is time to start putting together a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. Your business plan should also include a financial projection for the first few years of operation.
Example of a profit and loss statement for a pharmacy
Example of a cash flow forecast
3) Secure funding
Opening a pharmacy can be a costly endeavour, so you will need to secure funding from either investors or lenders. Be prepared to present your business plan and explain how you will use the funds to get your business up and running.
4) Apply for licenses and permits
In order to operate legally, you will need to obtain a license from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPHC). This will ensure you can operate as a pharmacy and dispense private prescriptions.
Registring with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPHC)
If your service model includes one of the following, you must apply to register the premises as a pharmacy under the Medicines Act 1968:
- the sale of pharmacy (P) medicines without a prescription, other than for the purpose of resale
- the supply of pharmacy (P) medicines or POMs without a prescription
The term ‘pharmacy’ is a protected title in law. It’s against the law to use the phrase “pharmacy” in connection with a retail firm that isn’t a licensed pharmacist (or pharmacy department of a hospital or health centre). If you utilize the name “pharmacy” in connection with a business that isn’t a licensed pharmacy, you could face fines and imprisonment.
Registering a new pharmacy
Use the GPHC’s website to submit an application for new pharmacy premises registration. Before submitting your form, read the instructions carefully to ensure that you include all of the information we need in the proper format.
You must also submit a nomination of a superintendent form with your application. In addition, you must complete an evaluation to demonstrate how you will satisfy the criteria for registered pharmacies from the first day your pharmacy is operational.
Finally, if you intend to operate a pharmacy service online, you must show how you plan to satisfy our criteria for registered pharmacies that provide pharmacy services remotely, including on the internet.
However, to dispense NHS prescriptions – you will need to fill out a Market Entry form on the Primary Care England website and submit it.
Dispensing NHS prescription & the pharmaceutical needs assessment?
The NHS England and NHS Improvement maintain pharmaceutical lists, which are commonly known as the “market entry” system. And to offer pharmaceutical services, a person must first apply to the NHS to be included in a pharmaceutical list.
To be included in the pharmaceutical list, a provider must demonstrate that they can fulfil a need for, or increase in access to, pharmaceutical services as defined in the relevant pharmaceutical needs assessment.
The application process can be complex, so it is advisable to seek professional help.
Pharmaceutical needs assessment and applying for an NHS contract
The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s public healthcare system. It is funded by taxes and provides free at the point of use healthcare to all UK residents. The NHS is made up of a number of organisations, including GP surgeries, hospitals, and community pharmacies.
Community pharmacies are an important part of the NHS and play a vital role in providing medicines and advice to patients. In order to become an NHS community pharmacy, you must first undertake a pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA).
A PNA is a process of assessing the need for pharmaceutical services in a population. This could be done by visiting people in their homes or workplaces, or by examining hospital records and prescription patterns. Once you have determined what the need for pharmaceutical services is in a given area, you can apply for a pharmacy contract with the NHS to begin dispensing medication and filling prescriptions if there is a need or a gap in the service profession (as explained above).
It is important to note that a PNA is not a guarantee of an NHS pharmacy contract. The decision on whether or not to award a contract will be made by the local NHS organisation based on a number of factors, including the availability of other pharmacies in the area and the level of need for pharmaceutical services.
If you are successful in your application for an NHS pharmacy contract, you will be required to meet a number of standards and requirements, including:
- The provision of safe and effective care
- The dispensing of medicines in accordance with prescriptions
- The provision of advice on the use of medicines
- The detection and reporting of counterfeit medicines
Failure to meet these standards and requirements may result in your contract being terminated.
As a community pharmacy, you will play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the medicines and advice they need. You will also be responsible for ensuring that your pharmacy meets all legal and regulatory requirements and that it operates in a financially sustainable way.
5) Find wholesalers
You will need to establish relationships with reliable suppliers in order to stock your pharmacy. Research different companies and compare prices to get the best deals.
6) Hire staff
As you get closer to opening your pharmacy, you will need to start hiring staff. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants and cashiers are just some of the positions you will need to fill. Be sure to conduct thorough interviews and check references before making any hires.
7) Market your business
Once everything is up and running, you need to start marketing your business. Create a branding strategy that includes advertising, public relations, and promotions. Make sure potential customers know about your pharmacy and what services you offer.
Opening your own pharmacy in the United Kingdom can be a challenging but rewarding endeavour. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success.
What is the difference between a hundred-hour and forty-hour NHS standard pharmacy contract?
There are three main types of contract-a 100-hour contract, a standard 40-hour contract, and a distance selling pharmacy contract.
The 100-hour contract is an agreement between the NHS and the pharmacy to provide pharmaceutical services for a period of 100 hours. This contract is usually used for pharmacies in remote areas where there is a high need for pharmaceutical services.
The standard 40-hour contract is the most common type of pharmacy contract and is usually awarded to pharmacies that are located close to other pharmacies. This contract allows the pharmacy to dispense medicines and fill prescriptions during core hours, which are typically 9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday.
The distance selling pharmacy contract is awarded to pharmacies that sell medicines by post or online. This type of contract allows the pharmacy to dispense medicines outside of normal opening hours.
Where to open a pharmacy in the UK?
When it comes to opening a pharmacy in the United Kingdom, there are a few key things you will need to take into account in order to choose the perfect location. First and foremost, the site must be easily accessible for both customers and employees.
Secondly, you will need to be familiar with local council regulations and licensing requirements in order to ensure that your new business is in compliance.
To help narrow down your search, consider these factors:
- The population density of the area. You’ll want to be located in an area with a high enough population density to sustain your business. In addition, a pharmacy located close to a medical surgery will likely generate substantial income through dispensing prescriptions. Conversely, a pharmacy located on the high street – is likely to generate the majority of its income through retail sales.
- The demographics of the area. Make sure that the demographics of the area match up with your target market.
- The competition. Take a look at the competition in the area and see if there is room for another pharmacy.
- Researching the NHSBSA website and analyzing how many prescription items are dispensed within your location can be useful to ascertain the business potential. For example, consider a location surrounded by 3 pharmacies – all of which are dispensing 10,000 items each. Therefore a total of 30,000 items are available within this location. And from here you can ascertain the market size and what proportion of business you need – to stay viable.
- The council regulations. As mentioned before, you’ll need to make sure that your chosen location is for commercial use and that you have the necessary licenses and permits. Under certain circumstances, you may need to apply for planning consent from the local council. Generally, a pharmacy will require a planning use that allows A1 retail use.
Once you’ve taken all of these factors into account, you should have a good idea of where to open your new pharmacy. Do some research on different locations and talk to other pharmacists to get their opinion on the best places to open a new business. With careful planning and consideration, you can find the perfect location for your new pharmacy.
How much do you need to open a pharmacy?
Owning and managing a pharmacy can be both rewarding and challenging, but you need to have the right amount of money before you start your journey. Here are some things to consider when it comes to determining how much capital you need:
- Do you want any partners? If so, make sure that they’re financially capable of contributing. You should also factor in their contribution when calculating the funds necessary for opening your business. For example, if one partner contributes £150,000 and another contributes £200,000 then together they contribute £350,000 (£150k+£200k=£350k). The first partner would then be entitled to 50% of the business (£350k x 50% = £175k).
- How much inventory do you need? You’ll need to have enough money to purchase the necessary inventory for your pharmacy. This includes both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as any other items you plan on selling (e.g. greeting cards, beauty products, etc.).
- What type of property do you need? Will you be leasing or buying a building? If you’re leasing, how much will the rent be? If you’re buying, how much will the mortgage payments be?
- How many staff members do you need? You’ll need to factor in the cost of salary and benefits when calculating your start-up costs.
When it comes to opening a pharmacy, you need to make sure that you have enough money to cover all of your start-up costs. Carefully consider all of the expenses associated with starting your business and make sure that you have the necessary funds before moving forward. With the right amount of money, you can set your pharmacy up for success.
Start-up costs example
IT and computers £1,720.00
Telephones and broadband
Equipment (Pill cutters, measuring cylinders etc) £150.00
Stock deposit £15,000.00
Professional fees £1,500.00
InsuranceRent/rent deposit £4,500.00
Security/health and safety equipment
Market research costs
CD registers £60.12
Pharmacy Fridge £400.00
CD destruction kit £11.14
CD cupboard £520.78
Fax machine/scanner etc £200.00
Misc costs £5,000.00
TOTAL £ £70,182.04
What are the requirements for opening a pharmacy in the United Kingdom?
There are a few key requirements that you need to meet in order to open a pharmacy in the United Kingdom. First and foremost, you will need to have a pharmacist willing to act as a superintendent pharmacist.
Secondly, you will need to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPHC) and have a valid license to practice. And demonstrate how you meet the pharmacy standards mentioned below. Finally, you will need to obtain insurance coverage for your new business such as with the National Pharmaceutical society (NPA).
What is a superintendent pharmacist and what is their role?
A superintendent pharmacist is responsible for the management and strategic planning of all aspects of their pharmacy business. They must ensure that their pharmacy provides high-quality patient care, meets all legal and regulatory requirements, and operates in a financially sustainable way.
As the head of their pharmacy business, a superintendent pharmacist has a wide range of responsibilities. These include:
- Developing and implementing the pharmacy’s business strategy and standard operating procedures
- Ensuring the pharmacy provides high-quality patient care
- Meeting all legal and regulatory requirements
- Ensuring the financial sustainability of the pharmacy
A Superintendent pharmacist must have a deep understanding of the General Pharmaceutical (GPHC) standards for registered pharmacies and the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. They must be able to effectively manage their teams and resources, and make sound business decisions that will ensure the long-term success of their pharmacy.
Who is the general pharmaceutical council?
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies in Great Britain.
The GPhC’s main aim is to protect the public by setting standards for education, training, registration, and conduct of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
If you are a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, you must be registered with the GPhC in order to practise. You can find out more about the registration process on the GPhC website.
As a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician, you will be subject to the GPhC’s standards for pharmacy professionals. These standards set out the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must demonstrate in order to practise safely and effectively.
If you fail to meet the standards for pharmacy professionals, you may be subject to disciplinary action by the GPhC, which could include being struck off the register.
What are the GPHC standards for registered pharmacies?
The aim of the regulations is to provide a safe and effective environment for pharmacy practice and the pharmacy premises. All pharmacies registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council are covered by the standards.
The standards are grouped into five key principles which include:
The framework of governance protects the health, safety, and wellbeing of patients and the public.
Employees are authorized and competent to safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of patients and the public.
Pharmacy services are provided in a clean, safe, and secure environment. The health, safety, and general well-being of patients and the public are protected by the condition and setting of the premises from which pharmacy services are supplied, as well as any connected premises.
Pharmacy services, including the management of medicines and medical devices, are supplied in a manner that protects patients’ health, safety, and well-being.
Equipment and facilities employed to provide pharmacy services protect the health, safety, and well-being of patients and the general public.
While these are the basic requirements for opening a pharmacy, there are a few other things you should keep in mind as well. For instance, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough money to cover all of your start-up costs and running costs.
Therefore with careful planning and consideration, you can fulfil all of the requirements for opening a new pharmacy in the UK.
What are the benefits of owning a pharmacy business?
There are many benefits that come with owning a pharmacy. For starters, it can be a very rewarding business venture. Not only will you be helping people get the medications they need, but you’ll also be running your own business. Additionally, owning a pharmacy can be quite profitable. With the right location and management, you can make a significant amount of money through your business. Finally, owning a pharmacy can give you a great deal of flexibility. You’ll be able to set your own hours and make decisions about how to run your business.
While there are many benefits that come with owning a pharmacy, it’s important to remember that it’s not without its challenges. You’ll need to make sure that you have the right amount of capital before starting your business and you’ll need to be prepared to handle all of the responsibilities that come with running a business. However, if you’re up for the challenge, owning a pharmacy can be a very rewarding experience.
Whether you’re looking for an exciting new business venture or a stable investment, opening a pharmacy can be a great option. With careful planning and consideration, you can set your pharmacy up for success. Keep in mind the requirements for opening a pharmacy in the UK and make sure that you have the necessary funds before getting started. With the right amount of money and effort, you can enjoy all of the benefits that come with owning your own business.
What qualifications do I need to open a pharmacy?
Strictly speaking, you do not need any qualifications to open a pharmacy. Although having business experience may be useful.
However, as mentioned above – you must ensure you meet the regulatory requirements to operate a pharmacy which include; registration with the GPHC, the appointment of a superintendent pharmacist and having a responsible pharmacist on-site at all times. In addition to meeting the requirements of the council.
What is a Responsible pharmacist?
The Responsible Pharmacist Regulations 2008 (the Regulations) came into force on 6 April 2009 and impose specific legal duties on pharmacists in England, Wales and Scotland.
The aim of the Regulations is to protect patients by ensuring that medicines are stored and dispensed safely and that pharmacists give advice on the use of medicines effectively. The Regulations also seek to prevent the sale of counterfeit medicines.
A pharmacist who is responsible for the running of a pharmacy must comply with the following duties:
- ensure that all medicinal products are stored in accordance with the requirements of current good manufacturing practices;
- dispense medicinal products in accordance with the prescriptions received;
- provide patients with advice on the use of medicinal products; and
- detect and report any counterfeit medicinal products.
If you are a pharmacist who is responsible for the running of a pharmacy, you must make sure that you comply with these duties at all times. failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken against you by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).