pharmacy in the UK

If you’re thinking of opening your own pharmacy in the UK, you’ll need to tick a few boxes first. 

The process involves working through various steps, including legal, operational and regulatory areas. You also need to prove that you’re qualified, accredited and trustworthy, since prescribing medicines to patients is a role that entails huge moral and professional responsibility. 

Before you embark on this venture, it’s worth knowing a few top tips to set yourself up for success.

5 crucial steps to opening a pharmacy in the UK

  1. Get qualified

Firstly, you’ll need to earn your qualifications and prove your certificates too. 

Most independent pharmacists study for an accredited MPharm degree, the key qualification approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council. This degree takes four years, and you’ll also need to complete an additional one-year training scheme to take the Registration Assessment.

If you already work as a pharmacist, you’re ready to make your career move now. Along with your expertise in pharmaceuticals, you need to be entrepreneurial too.

  1. Research the local market

No matter your industry, knowing your local demographic and tapping into it is a key part of building your brand. If you’re ready to start a new business in the pharmacy sector, you firstly need to find an appropriate location.

Think about factors like foot traffic, proximity to existing medical facilities, and how you might meet the needs of the local community. Your chosen area needs to be somewhere you can recruit qualified, vetted and registered pharmacy workers, including support staff.

  1. Develop your business plan

Next, you should draw up a plan that covers your corporate mission, target market, and financial forecasts too. This will serve as an invaluable reference and roadmap for the growth of your pharmacy. Building a solid business plan also involves networking with wholesalers and suppliers.

This involves all the lengthy paperwork and those behind-the-scenes tasks too. If it’s too much to take on by yourself, consulting trade professionals helps to streamline the compliance process. With an expert opinion, you can open your doors with full peace of mind.

  1. Understand compliance

You’ll need to register the new facility with the General Pharmaceutical Council first and foremost. Thorough regulations ensure that only high-quality pharmacies operate in the United Kingdom, so your business will need to meet strict requirements too. 

The legislation concerning pharmacy registration is set out in three legal bills, including the:

Make sure that you’re familiar with all expectations and terms, as set out in relevant legislation, before you open the doors of your new pharmacy.

  1. Secure funding

Opening a pharmacy can be a costly endeavour, so it’s crucial that you secure adequate funding as early as possible. Building relationships with investors is an effective way to do this, so you’ll need to make a strong case for yourself too. Your strategy needs to be ambitious yet convincing and realistic too.

With the funding, you can start to develop a multi-faceted marketing strategy to promote and build trust in your new pharmacy. Building your brand is a key part of retaining investment.


Once you’re fully qualified and registered with the GPhC, you’re ready to set up a new pharmacy. With funding and a comprehensive understanding of regulatory requirements, you’ll be set up for success. Good luck!