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20 Pharmacy Business Ideas to Consider

Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire, said, “Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” The last few years have witnessed a considerable surge in entrepreneurship nationwide. 4.3 billion new businesses were registered with the United States Census Bureau, nearly 24% higher than the previous year. It’s not surprising that pharmacists have also jumped on the bandwagon.

A pharmacist’s job profile doesn’t have to be restricted to dispensing medication to patients in hospitals or drug stores. With the growth in technology, there is no end to different pharmacy business ideas.

Many are choosing to step away from their traditional roles and explore options for a business in pharmacy. Not only does it have the potential to supplement their income, but it could change their career trajectory and improve work satisfaction.

This article will look at 20 pharmacy business ideas that offer great scope for growth!

Drug Research and Development

As part of their education, pharmacists are trained to research and develop drug molecules. This makes a drug manufacturing business a lucrative option for a pharmacist entrepreneur.

Pharmacists who have access to funds or have the potential to raise funds through investors can set up their own manufacturing units. Others can use their skills to research and develop drugs but outsource the manufacturing overseas to reduce costs.

Pharma Raw Material Supply

Yet another pharmacy entrepreneur’s idea is to take advantage of the growth in the industry and set up a reliable supply of pharmaceutical raw materials. Large drug development companies always need good quality raw materials, from synthetic products and drug molecules to containers and research materials.

Cosmetics Production

Pharmacists familiar with developing chemical compounds can also leverage their knowledge and expertise to produce their own cosmetics line. Products like anti-aging creams, body creams, and hair growth serums are always popular, making this a profitable venture as a pharmacist side hustle.

Consultancy Services

Pharmacists specialize in drug actions and mechanisms. With their training, they have the expertise needed to consult with medical experts about different medication regimens while weighing their efficacy against their potential side effects. Pharmacists can become independent consultants, offering their services to other medical professionals. Or, they can set up their own consultancy business with a whole suite of services and expert panels.

Drug Marketing

Drug marketing can be a satisfying side hustle for pharmacists who enjoy the thrill of making a sale. This pharmacy business focuses on generating new leads and customers. Pharmacists can join a drug company or work as independent marketers. They sell and distribute drugs made by pharmaceutical companies to different hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics within a geographic area.

24-Hour Pharmacy

Every community appreciates a 24-hour pharmacy because emergencies can come at any time. A pharmacist can choose to open their own brick-and-mortar pharmacy or open the store as part of a franchise chain, partnering with a popular brand in the industry. It can be a rewarding venture, with the freedom to define their work schedules. However, they must also understand the requirements to open a pharmacy and adhere to licensing laws and other National Council For Prescription Drug Program regulations. This business model also requires tight security and sufficient staff to run operations in all shifts, which may be an added overhead and a challenge to maintain without adequate business funding.

Multi-Service Storefronts

Pharmacists can now add to the traditional medication distribution business when renting or buying physical storefronts. Income may primarily be from medication sales licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). These include prescription-only drugs that can only be supplied by a registered pharmacist or over-the-counter medications.

Pharmacies can also maintain an inventory of other items to boost sales and revenue. They are often a unique mix of the medical field, retail industry, and tech trade. This includes:

  • Toiletries, cosmetics, perfumes, and hair care products.
  • Baby care items and baby food.
  • Living aids for elderly and disabled people.
  • Pet care products.
  • Accessories like jewelry and sunglasses.
  • Electrical items like shavers and hair dryers.
  • Vitamins, supplements, or health foods.
  • Digital photo printing
  • Blood pressure and weight measurement
  • Blood collection and vaccination centers are attached to larger healthcare chains.

For a new pharmacy business to stand out and gain an edge over its competition, it needs pharmacy funding from a reliable partner.

Mobile Pharmacy

With the right planning and appropriate licenses, pharmacists can set up mobile pharmacies that allow their customers to manage their prescriptions right at their doorsteps. They would need to set up their inventory, delivery vehicles, a website, and an online payment platform to receive and process orders, along with a workforce and the necessary utilities.

Drive-Thru Pharmacy

The need for rapid service and convenience has made drive-thru pharmacies a profitable business model for pharmacist entrepreneurs. With real-time support, they can dispense medicines through open windows, making it easier and quicker for them to get their refills.

Online Pharmacy

With the added overheads of rent and utilities in a physical storefront, some pharmacists may choose to open up an online pharmacy. People are more comfortable shopping online and are adapting quickly to a new and convenient way to get their prescriptions without having to stand in long waiting lines!

Medication App Developer

There is a smartphone app for everything these days! A pharmacist can also look into designing and developing mobile apps that raise awareness about drugs, help medical professionals with dose calculations or indications for use, or warn them about side effects.

First Aid Kits

First aid boxes are easy to assemble and sell in bulk. Selling first aid kits can be a profitable venture as they are essential items not only for family homes and college students but also for medical, commercial, and industrial establishments. Good market demand can also lead to setting up online distribution channels for their products.

Vitamin, Supplements, and Alternative Therapies

Self-care, preventive care, and natural remedies are popular with customers interested in health fads and fitness. Pharmacists can set up retail businesses that sell everything from dietary supplements, herbal medications, vitamins, and protein powders to healthy foods and natural, homemade remedies.

Pharmaceutical Benefit Management

There are pharmacy benefit management companies that pharmacists can work with. Patients and health insurance management companies communicate about drug benefits and values through them.

Device Marketing

It is also possible for pharmacists to work in medical device sales and distribution, such as thermometers, scales, syringes, blood glucose monitors, and blood pressure monitors.

Medical Counseling

The pharmacist is a valuable resource for patients suffering from terminal and life-threatening illnesses, who need assistance understanding their treatments and understanding potential side effects. One can focus on this feature and dive into the professional service.

Rehabilitation Centers

After getting the appropriate licenses, pharmacists can also set up rehabilitation centers to help people addicted to alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs. A lucrative venture accompanied by the satisfaction of helping people recover from their addictions makes this pharmacy business a winning idea!

Outpatient Clinics

Pharmacists can also set up clinics specializing in different target patients to deliver targeted care independently, with other medical specialists, or with a franchise. These include:

  • Public health clinics
  • Senior care services
  • Maternal and child health
  • Private clinics
  • Polyclinics
  • Family planning clinics
  • Sexual health clinics
  • Dialysis centers
  • Ambulatory care
  • Mental health facilities
  • Home healthcare services

Pharmacy Tutoring

Pharmacists who have a flair for teaching may want to become independent tutors for pharmacy students. The business model can quickly scale once they establish its skill and expertise.

Health Awareness

With the amount of medical misinformation present online, there is always a need for improved health literacy and awareness. Starting a blog or a social media channel, organizing health seminars and health-related events, or writing informational medication content for websites can also help pharmacists supplement their income.

How to Set up a Pharmacy Business

The modern pharmacist entrepreneur has many avenues to build and grow their business. Here are five simple steps to set up a pharmacy business:

1.    Build a Business Plan

A sound business plan is the most crucial step in establishing a pharmacy business. It starts with a clear idea about the target consumer and the products or services they can offer. Next, this will determine the capital required for inventory and overhead costs like utilities, transport, space, staffing, manufacturing, and marketing. Finally, calculating selling prices to achieve a healthy profit margin needs creative business development and agile leadership.

2.    Secure Financing

To get a new venture successfully off the ground, business owners may have to secure funding from investors or raise capital with funding from a partner. When taking on a business loan, founders should be careful to avoid loan scams, research the lender thoroughly and find the best solution for their financial circumstances.

3.    Arrange for Licenses

Pharmacies and medication-based businesses are generally heavily regulated. To set up a new business, pharmacists need to:

4.    Select a Location

The right location can significantly impact how much and how fast a new venture grows. Before investing in a new business, entrepreneurs should consult with experts to determine the best states for business taxes in the U.S. Staying updated with current tax rules can make a big difference to the revenue margins of small, newly opened pharmacy businesses.

Founders who detect the right location for their pharmacy business can also broaden the scope for new partnerships with complementary businesses in the area and determine the hiring pool for new employees. In addition, real estate prices can be a deciding factor when buying or renting offices and storefronts for the venture.

5.    Create a Marketing Plan

From logo design to website building and PR, a sound marketing strategy is essential for a pharmacy business to scale. However, finding the right team to execute a marketing plan may be challenging, considering the requirements for specialized techniques like social media campaigns, paid ads, content marketing, and search engine optimization.

Offline marketing campaigns also require key leaders to network with other healthcare organizations in the community to build a healthy referral process.


Entrepreneurs setting up pharmacy businesses are poised to experience tremendous growth if they can set up and scale their ventures successfully. Pharmacists can explore various options when choosing a profitable business idea, from drug research and development to setting up different pharmacy models and outpatient clinics, as well as health awareness through online and offline channels.

The simple steps outlined in this article can guide any pharmacist entrepreneur to build a lucrative and secure business that brings professional growth and improves community health. A win-win for all!