How to start a pharmacy in the UK

As you’d expect there are a loads of rules and regulations that govern pharmacies in the UK. Those rules are in place to protect consumers so don’t be alarmed by all the hoops you have to jump through to get into this line of work. Read on to find out how to start a pharmacy in the UK that can dispense prescriptions.


For a pharmacy to be able to dispense prescriptions to patients, it will need to be included on the NHS pharmaceutical list. As you’d imagine, this is a lengthy process that involves lots of form filling. The application’s governed by the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 which help to simplify the process. Nowadays all of the applications for pharmacies based in England are dealt with by the NHS so applications for new, relocated premises or additional pharmacies have to be made to the NHS England Area Team. You can get your hands on a downloaded version of the application form by visiting england.nhs.uk. You’ll also find PDF documents with specific guidance at that website but as a general rule the board reviewing all applications tend to look at the pharmaceutical needs in the area you’re wishing to trade in before deciding whether or not to grant you the necessary paperwork.

Market entry

You should also consult the website for the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. These guys work with the NHS and the Department of Health to promote opportunities for the development of pharmacies, as well as negotiating the contractual terms for the provision of NHS pharmacies. You can find out specifically what they can do to help support your application by checking out psnc.org.uk.

More advice

You’ll also find useful advice on this subject if you head to nhs.uk.

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