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Medicine Business 2018-01-12

To start Medicine Business, You Need to be an Entrepreneur!

The different types of pharmacy in India are standalone, hospital, chain pharmacy and township pharmacy.

By Senior Sub-editor
To start Medicine Business, You Need to be an Entrepreneur!


One does not necessarily have to be a doctor to start a medicine business in India, there are number of pharmacies, medicine suppliers, medicine wholesalers and online medicine sellers in the market, who are purely for the only purpose of making business.

Pharma industry in India today ranks 4th in volume and 13th in value in the global pharmaceutical market with exports worth US Dollars 2.6 billion besides domestic sales of over US Dollar 4 million worth. The different types of pharmacy in India are standalone, hospital, chain pharmacy and township pharmacy. All of these can be registered under the partnership or as a private limited company and thus can easily be transferred or profits can be shared among the partners.

Here are some of the basic steps to help you start a medicine business of your own:

Legalities and Procedural Guidelines

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (amended in 1945) states the guidelines for import, manufacture, and distribution of drugs in India. It contains provisions for classification of drugs under given schedules.

To start a medical pharmacy business one needs to get a license from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) or State Drugs Standard Control body, under form No. 19. The person should have a degree or diploma in pharmacy from a recognized institution or university with 1 year experience in dealing with drugs. The pharmacist must also get the GST registration for any payment transaction.

Follow Government Schemes

Under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) scheme, the government aims to provide generic or cheaper medical drugs to the people. Generic drugs form the largest segment (70%) of Indian pharmaceutical sector with OTC medicines (21%) and patented drugs forming the remaining 9%.

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) states that the prices of drugs under First Schedule of Drugs are fixed uniformly for all branded and generic medicines containing same active molecule. In case of non-scheduled mode, manufacturers are free to increase the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) by more than 10% of MRP.

Selling generic drugs cannot improve the margin so much but this can help in availing benefits provided by the government in association with the scheme training of the pharmacist or the other staff members, discounts in prices.

Draw the Line

India, the schedule B (Rule 98) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1948) specifies the ‘shelf-life’ (mostly 1-5 years) of drugs and the conditions of storage. The pharmacist or the dealer should be vigilant about the life period of stored medicines and their different schedules. Pharmacies or Medicine suppliers should keep a stricter watch on what and how they being sold, or else they are also can come under suspicion for people’s health in the locality without prescriptions.

Set Up

For setting up a business in the field of medicine, one should be very careful about the hygiene and condition of certain area and only after identifying the rivals. The store should be spacious and well ventilated as some medicines require certain temperature. The owner should be careful about the qualification and efficiency of the staff as they are the ones who are going to deal with the customer in the forefront. A mere negligence can cost dearly to the business.


Collaborations are what the business is dependent upon, especially with the local hospitals, city hospitals, and health centers, so that the patients are directed to collect medicine from your store. Now that the online world is unfolding for medicine business as well, which is why collaborating with renowned brands you can help each other in promotions and making a brand of your own.

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