The pharma sector of India is rapidly growing. Many schemes of the government, including MSME and others, have helped many small businessmen set up their businesses. If you are interested in becoming a drug distributor, continue reading! This article covers the key points you should know before starting a wholesale medicine business.

What Are The Types Of Pharmacy Wholesale Business?

Before you dive into the process of starting your own pharmacy wholesale business in India, it’s important to understand the different types of pharmacy wholesale businesses you can start. Once you’ve successfully operated as a retailer, you can consider expanding your venture into wholesale businesses.

Here are the types:

Specialist Pharmacy: These are wholesale businesses that specialize in various medical fields such as dermatology, oncology, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and more.

Hospital Pharmacy: Partner with a hospital or medical facility to connect with, offer, and advertise medicines.

Chain Pharmacy: Start your own chain of pharmacies in different places across the country.

Township Pharmacy: This pharmacy is part of a specific neighborhood in our town where people know us well and think highly of our services.

Online Pharmacy: Embrace digital technology and collaborate with sellers, customers, and wholesalers on the internet. This type of business is mainly conducted online.

Pet Pharmacy: Sells medicines and supplies for animals.

Types of Wholesale Pharmacies

  1. Clinical Medical Stores:
    A clinical medical store can be found within a doctor’s clinic or a large hospital. Whether it’s part of a doctor’s practice or a corporate hospital, it’s considered a private organization. The success of a clinical medical store depends on the overall success of the hospital or the popularity of the doctor.
  2. Standalone Medical Stores:
    Standalone medical stores are typically owned by a single individual or a small group. The success of these stores is influenced by factors such as market competition, the store’s location, and its reputation in the community.
  3. Chain Medical Stores:
    A chain medical store is an extension of a larger medical organization. The brand’s credibility makes it easier to generate profit, but success still hinges on factors like competition and location.

Getting a Medicine Wholesale Drug Licence

Obtaining a wholesale drug licence to start a medicine wholesale or drug distributor business in India is a necessity for anyone looking to start a pharmaceutical business in the country. The government has strict regulations on how drugs are manufactured, stored, displayed, and sold.

To get a drug licence, you should have a valid Goods and Services Tax (GST) identification number. This is mandatory for anyone conducting business online. You must also provide an affidavit stating that he is a qualified pharmacist and has at least one year of experience.

The application form is available online. You can also apply in person at your state’s drug-control office. Fill out your application and make sure it contains a cover letter, an affidavit of competence, an experience certificate, and all other documents required. These requirements vary from state to state.

Once you submit the application form along with the documents, the CLA will inspect your premises. If they are satisfied with your business setup, they will issue you a license.

The process is governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. To get a license from the Food Safety and Drug Administration, you need to fill out the necessary forms and submit them to the State Licensing Authority.

The application and licensing for wholesale drug licenses are covered in Schedule C of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1945. The entire licensing process takes about a month for approval, depending on the review by the Drug Inspector and the report sent to the Licensing Authority.

The type of business determines the required forms for the license. For example, a retail chemist shop needs Forms 20 and 21 (Allopathic), while an Ayurvedic chemist shop needs Form 20C. Wholesale licenses require Forms 20B and 21B, and for Schedule X drugs, Form 20G is necessary.

Why You Need a Wholesale Drug License in India

If you want to make, sell, distribute, or store medicines in India, you must have a wholesale drug license. This license is like a permission slip that shows you are allowed to run a legitimate business involved in the manufacturing or distribution of pharmaceuticals. It’s important to note that making drugs without getting registered is against the law in India.

Applying for FSSAI Registration

Getting an FSSAI registration is essential for starting a medicine wholesale or drug distributor business in India. Whether it’s your own business or you’re an investor, you need to obtain a licence. It can also help you develop your brand name and grow your customer base.

There are three types of FSSAI licences based on the nature of your business. The fee depends on the type of licence you choose.

Basic FSSAI registration is free for small food businesses. A few documents are needed, including proof of your business location and a PAN card. You also need to provide a list of the food products you’re selling.

The central FSSAI licence is required by FBOs with a turnover of more than 20 crore rupees, as well as food businesses that export or import food products. For food businesses with a turnover of Rs 12 lakh or less, you may apply for the essential FSSAI registration.

In addition to the licence, FSSAI requires you to have a business constitution certificate, as well as utility bills and utility receipts. It is a good idea to get help from a legal service provider to renew your FSSAI registration. This will ensure that you are complying with FSSAI regulations and keeping your business compliant.

Hiring the Staff for Your Business

Once you have procured the necessary licences and permits, you can hire staff for your business. Some of the key positions to fill include:

  • Pharmacist: 1-2
  • Assistant pharmacist: 2-3
  • Sales Executive: 2-3
  • Storekeeper: 1
  • Helper: 1-2

The salaries will depend on the candidates’ qualifications and experience. You can use online job portals to find the right staff for your business.  

To Note

Having a pharma distribution business is an exciting proposition. The pharma industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It is expected to grow at a rate of 15% by 2022.

If you are planning to start a pharma distribution business, you must take into account a few things.

  • First, you need a licence
  • Second, you must hire staff
  • Third, you must research the market
  • Finally, you need to have the necessary infrastructure and fixtures to run your business.

The drug department has a set of rules and regulations for launching your distribution business. If you fail to comply with these rules, your registration will be denied. You will also need to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on your total turnover.

You may also want to take advantage of MSME registration. This is an MSME loan that is available through a financial institution in India. To apply for this loan, you will need to make a significant cash investment.

SWOT Analysis of a Wholesale Medical Agency Business

Using a SWOT analysis of a wholesale medical agency business can help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of the industry. This is important because it enables you to assess where improvements can be made. Developing a business strategy that will give your company long-term competitive advantages is essential.

In addition to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the medicine wholesale business, a SWOT analysis will also show you where preemptive measures can be taken to improve the industry. This is because changes in one factor often lead to changes in other factors.

For example, a SWOT analysis of a pharmaceutical distributor could identify the following weaknesses:

  • Outdated medical equipment
  • Low staff morale
  • High-risk business models

In addition to identifying these weaknesses, a SWOT analysis of a company can also help you evaluate the QbD rollout strategy and identify opportunities. For example, if your company has a strong brand portfolio, you can enter new product categories and expand into new markets.


You must follow these key steps to start a medicine wholesale business in India. The above steps are a general guide on how to start a pharmacy wholesale business. Don’t hesitate to contact your state’s relevant authority for detailed information on the required licences.

By indifi

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