Community Pharmacy Management

Definition of Community Pharmacy

Community pharmacy means any place under the direct supervision of a pharmacist where the practice of pharmacy occurs or where prescription orders are compounded and dispensed other than a hospital pharmacy or a limited-service pharmacy.

Community pharmacy includes all of those establishments that are privately owned and whose function, in varying degrees, is to serve society’s need for both drug products and the pharmaceutical services”.


The success of a drug store depends mainly upon its location and proper layout design.  The main objectives are

  • To attract a large number of customers.
  • To increase the sales in stores.
  • To provide customer satisfaction.
  • To minimize the movement of customers within the premises of drug stores.
  • To reduce cost expenses to the minimum extent.

Characteristic Features Of Ideal Drug Store:

Site Location Features:

  • The factors that mainly influence are
  • The site should be supported with good transportation facilities.
  • Traffic congestion should not be there.
  • Ample space for expansion.
  • Availability of essential services like post offices, banks, and fire stations.
  • The density of the population i.e. Demography.
  • Number of hospitals, and doctors present in that particular area.
  • Level of competition.
  • Checking out rental policies by comparing them with other localities.
  • Customer feedback about the availability and requirements of medicines.

Space Layout Design Features:

The main objectives of layout design features are

  • Providing a professional and attractive environment in stores such that the maximum number of customers are attracted.
  • Provide good lighting and ventilation; utilize the space available to the maximum extent.
  • Improve general appearance and professional image.
  • Security arrangements should be good to reduce malpractices.
  • Provide maximum storage facility for existing and reserve stocks present.
  • Recruiting well-trained personnel with safety measures against fire, electrical hazards, etc.
  • It should have flexibility in the arrangement of items.

Internal Features of Drug Store:

  • According to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1945, retail drug stores must fulfill the minimum requirements as per Schedule N.
  • The minimum area to open a drug store is 90-100 square feet and an ideal drug store may have a total area of 150 square feet.
  • The retail drug store should be present on the ground floor.
  • Marble and tile flooring is used because it is attractive and easy to clean.
  • The walls of the drug store are constructed with cement and concrete, and then it should be painted.
  • Internal arrangements of drug stores like racks, shelves, cupboards, and drawers are made up of steel or wood.
  • A suitable place should be allotted for keeping the refrigerator.
  • Store names and drug logos should be made to appear attractive and conspicuous.
  • Window displays should be made more attractive and prescription drugs should be arranged industry-wise, disease-wise, or alphabetical type to facilitate easy identification.
  • Some of the racks should be provided with a lock and key facility to keep spurious, restricted antibiotics, etc. Eg: Fentanyl, phenargan, fortwin, corex etc.
  • There could be adequate space for an office, stocking drugs, toilet facility, etc.
  • The cash counter and wrapping counter should be near the entrance, and permissions and other licenses should be displayed and presented legibly.
  • The stores should be provided with skilled staff who have knowledge of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, and biological diseases and who can apply this knowledge to patient care.

Layout Design of Community Pharmacy:

  1. Lobby checkout style.
  2. Central service style.
  3. Off-the-wall style etc.

Legal Documents For Obtaining a Licence To Open A Drug Store:

To open a drug store one must act according to:

  • Drug and Cosmetic Act 1945.
  • Poison Act 1919.
  • Pharmacy Act 1948.
  • Shop and Establishment Act.
  • Prohibition and excise rule etc.

The legal documents required are:

  • A blueprint copy of 100 square feet of space required to open a drug store according to the Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1945 attested.
  • 2 copies of Form 19 of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act.  One copy for Biological drugs and the other for Non-biological drugs.
  • Attested copy of SSC certificate.
  • Attested copy of Diploma/Degree in pharmacy from any institute duly registered by the Pharmacy Council of India.
  • Attested copy of registration certificate (Book) issued by state pharmacy council.
  • A fee of Rs 3000/- (1500/- each) is to be deposited in the State Bank of India of the government.  Treasury under to get a license. (Challan copy).
  • Affidavit copy of qualified person in case he is an employee of the drug store.
  • Affidavit on Non-Judicial stamp paper duly attested by a first class magistrate by each partner in case of partnership concern and the proprietor himself in case of proprietorship concern.
  • Rent receipt in case of rental premises or an affidavit to the effect if the person himself is the owner of premises.
  • Refrigerator purchase receipt.
  • The retail sale license is valued for up to 5 years after which it has to be renewed again.

Specified Summary:

  • Form 19 – Categories of drugs to be sold are biological/non-biological drugs other than those specified in schedule “X”.
  • Form 20 – License to sell, stock exhibit, or distribute drugs by retail other than specified in C & C1.
  • Form 20 A – Restricted license to sell in retail to vendors and dealers who do not engage services by a qualified person.
  • Form 20 B – License to sell, stock, or exhibit drugs by wholesale other than those specified in Schedule C & C1.
  • Form 21 – License to sell, stock exhibit, and distribute retail drugs specified in Schedule C & C1.

Infrastructure requirements

Selecting Location:

  • One of the principal reasons for the success of a new pharmacy is good site location.
  • Despite this locations are too often selected in an unscientific manner. Factors to consider in selecting a pharmacy location

a) Population Characteristics

  • Total Size
  • Growth trends
  • Age distribution
  • Income distribution
  • Prescription buying power
  • Occupation trends

b) Competitive characteristics

  • Number of competitors
  • Size distribution of competitors
  • Location of competitors.
  • Competitive growth trends.

c) Physician Availability

  • Number of Physicians
  • Types of physicians

d) Financing

  • Requirements
  • Sources of funds/ credit factors


  • The location of the pharmacy should be such that it is easily identified by the public. A neat and clean environment should be maintained at the exterior of the pharmacy.
  • The façade should be clearly marked with the word “Pharmacy”, written in English as well as in the regional language.
  • The pharmacy should be conveniently accessible to people using prams or wheelchairs.
  • Pharmaceutical services and medicines should be served from an area that is separated from other activities/ services. This facilitates the integrity and quality of service and minimizes the risk of dispensing errors.
  • The pharmacist should be directly and easily accessible to the public for information and counseling.
  • The pharmacy environment should be clean with minimum dust and should be maintained clean as per the cleaning schedules and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
  • The premises of the pharmacy must be separated from other rooms for private use.
  • The premises should be well built, dry well ventilated, and have sufficient storage capacity for goods materials.
  • The floor should be washable and smooth.
  • Adequate space as recommended by regulatory authority is necessary (100 sq. ft).
  • The dispensing department shall be separated by a barrier to prevent the admission of
  • the public.
  • The pharmacy should have telephone service and a constant supply of electricity, especially for refrigerators.
  • There should be a drinking water facility for the patient and for the use of personnel.
  • The pharmacy should have
  • Sufficient space for patients to stand comfortably at the dispensing counter and for some to sit comfortably while they wait
  • Space for patient information displays, including information leaflets/ materials.
  • A separate enclosure described as a Counseling Area” for patient counseling, storage of reference resources (e.g. books, internet access) is a fundamental requirement.
  • Separate waste collection baskets/boxes should be available for the personnel and for the patients.
  • Pharmacy providing related services such as doctors, clinics, and first aid and dressing services should manage them separately.

Furniture and fixtures:

  • The pharmacy should have neat, well-placed shelves with provision for the storage of medicines and other items in a neat manner, protected from dust, moisture, excessive heat, and light.
  • The counseling area should be at least furnished with a table, chairs for pharmaçist and patients, and cabinets for storing Patient Medication Records (PMRs).


  • The pharmacy should be equipped with refrigerated storage facilities (validated from time to time) and should be available for medicines requiring storage at cold temperatures.
  • The counseling area should be equipped with

a. Reference materials

b. Demonstration charts, kits, and other demonstration material.

c. Patient Information Leaflets (PIL).

d. Some basic instruments like sphygmomanometer, glucometer, thermometer, and stethoscope.

e. Weight and height scale.

  • The pharmacy must equipped with computers and appropriate software and useful for maintaining a database.
  • The list of items given in Schedule N of the Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940 should be available in the pharmacy.
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on: Communication Skills Pharmacy
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