new pharmacy in Ghana - wapomu

How To Establish Or Register A New Pharmacy In Ghana

Establishing a pharmacy is not restricted to only pharmacists but anyone at all who meets the requirements prescribed by the Pharmacy Council of Ghana.

Before we look at the various requirements, let’s take a look at the different types of pharmacies that one can establish. You need to know this in order to apply for the appropriate license.

The categories of pharmacies that you can apply for are as below;

  1. Retail Pharmacy
  2. Wholesale Pharmacy
  3. Retail and Wholesale Pharmacy
  4. Pharmacies within hospitals, clinics, and any other facility

The requirements for each differ a bit but in this post we will look at how to establish a retail pharmacy.

What is a retail pharmacy?

A retail pharmacy refers to any pharmacy that offers services to the general public on a retail basis. Some of the services that retail pharmacies offer include:

  • Compounding
  • Dispensing
  • Selling
  • Filling of prescriptions
  • Counselling

Retail pharmacies are usually referred to as community pharmacies. They usually serve as the first point of contact to the general public when they are sick.

Who can establish a retail pharmacy in Ghana?

Anyone who desires to own a retail pharmacy can do that provided they meet all the requirements of the pharmacy council. There is an erroneous notion that you need to be a pharmacist to own a retail pharmacy. 

That is not true, however, to establish a pharmacy, one needs the services of a pharmacist. So, you can be a businessman or be in whatever occupation and set up your own pharmacy provided you are able to employ the services of a pharmacist.

What are the requirements for registering a new retail pharmacy in Ghana?

The requirements for setting up a retail pharmacy are put into the following categories;

  • Personnel
  • Services
  • Premises (Physical Design, Layout, Furnishing and Ancillary Facilities)
  • Equipment Devices and Supplies
  • Safety and Security

Personnel Requirement

You will need to employ the service of at least one pharmacist. It should be a pharmacist duly registered and at the present time in good standing with the pharmacy council of Ghana.

Depending on the size of the retail pharmacy you want to establish, you may need to employ at least one or more of the following:

  • A locum pharmacist
  • A pharmacy technician
  • A medicine counter assistant
  • A cashier or accountant
  • An orderly or janitor
  • A security personnel

Services

As a retail pharmacy, you should be providing services such as;

  • Dispensing of Drugs  
  • Patient Counselling  
  • Medicine Optimisation
  • Health Promotions and preventive services  
  • Procurement, packaging, and storage of drugs  
  • Any other requirement that may be prescribed by the council.

Premises requirement

Your proposed premise for the discharge of duties as a retail pharmacy should:

  • Consist of a minimum of 20 square metres for the an entire space area
  • Be sited at least 400m by radius (that is in all direction) from the nearest pharmacy or licensed chemical shop
  • Mount an easily cleanable reception counter
  • Display the original certificates and licences in the premises  
  • Have a Pharmacists counselling area/office  
  • Have shelves arranged for easy access to drugs 
  • Shelves, counters and walls must be well painted with a light colour  
  • Separate dispensing area  
  • Adequate storage for drugs with adequate shelves  
  • Separate air-conditioned storeroom with shelves, refrigerator, air-conditioner and fans;
  • Reference books such as British pharmacopoeia, national drug policy and essential drugs list; current versions of British National Formulary (BNF) for adults and for children
  • Adequate record keeping/computerization, with a system for drug receipts, sales invoices, sales books/ledgers and bin cards

Equipment Devices and Supplies

For efficient delivery of services in your facility, you may require the following;

iKrateSuite for sales and inventory management in a retail pharmacy
  • Computers
  • Point of sale and inventory management software (For access to an affordable POS and store management software, click here to find out more about the iKrateSuite POS and store management software)
  • Counting Trays  
  • Spatulas  
  • Cutters/Scissors  
  • Standard Procedures for processing (transport, disposal) of used medical devices, supplies and equipment. (SOPs)

Where do I get the application forms?

If you are interested in registering a new pharmacy in Ghana then you can pick up the application forms from any of the regional pharmacy council offices. It is recommended that you get it from the office in the region where you want to establish your pharmacy.

You can get the contact details for the respective regional offices here

How much does the new pharmacy application form cost?

The retail pharmacy form does not come for free and you will be required to pay a certain non-refundable sum of money. This means that you are not entitled to get back the money even if your application is rejected.

What next after picking the forms?

You would have to fill and submit the completed forms at the pharmacy council regional office where you picked the forms. 

The forms will be processed and a team will be sent to your proposed premise for first inspection if your application is accepted. However, if it is rejected, you will be sent a letter which will detail the reasons why it was rejected.

After the first inspection, you will be given a certain period of time to prepare the place for the final inspection. By preparing the place, it means mounting shelves, obtaining a pharmaceutical refrigerator, air-conditioner, appropriate toilet facility, etc.

If the place is prepared before the time allocated, the superintendent pharmacist can put into formal writing informing the inspectors of such and requesting them to come for the final inspection. It is after the final inspection that you will officially receive a license to operate your retail pharmacy.

WRITTEN AND EDITED RESPECTIVELY BY:

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

Chief Editor at Wapomu.com

MPSGH, MRPharmS, MPhil.

Isaiah Amoo is a practicing community pharmacist in good standing with the Pharmacy Council of Ghana who has meaningful experience in academia and industrial pharmacy. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, England, UK and currently pursuing his overseas pharmacy assessment programme (MSc) at Aston University, UK. He had his MPhil degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has about 5 years’ experience as a community Pharmacist and has also taught in academic institutions like KNUST, Kumasi Technical University, Royal Ann College of Health, and G-Health Consult. He likes to spend time reading medical research articles and loves sharing his knowledge with others.

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