Parapharmacy and pharmacy: what differences?
Before explaining to you how to open a franchising pharmacy I would like to take stock of what is meant by parapharmacy and what the law provides for this particular type of sales point. First of all, parapharmacy can be interpreted as a “quasi pharmacy”. The substantial difference between the two types consists in the fact that the parapharmacy is not authorized to sell and prepare drugs subjected to the sale only by prescription.
In other words, parapharmacy is therefore authorized to sell only drugs that do not require a prescription and over-the-counter drugs. However the parapharmacy can sell products for wellness and beauty , such as cosmetics, products for children, or even food products for particular groups of the population, such as those for celiacs, diabetics or low-calorie foods. Parapharmacies are also authorized to sell most veterinary medicines.
The presence of parapharmacies is possible in Italy following the so-called “liberalization decree” of 2006, which allowed for a widening of the commercial possibilities for many products, including pharmaceuticals. As we will see later, the sale of drugs, even if over the counter, cannot however be carried out by anyone.
Why open a pharmacy?
As you will have had the opportunity to understand in the previous paragraphs, the goods on sale in the parapharmacies are not limited to over-the-counter drugs, but include a large slice of products dedicated to wellness and beauty . This sector represents a good opportunity for those who intend to open a new business, as it is aimed at a very large slice of the population, and for this reason the chances of success are quite high.
Another aspect in favor of the opening of a franchised drugstore derives from the preference by some people for treatments and remedies different from those of western medicine, which can be marketed in parapharmacies, such as phytotherapeutic or homeopathic products. The possibility to expand the sale to health accessories and to host spaces for analysis, self-analysis and consultations in the parapharmacy premises, are finally other aspects that can make you understand how the possibilities of attracting customers are really high for this type of activity.
Open a parapharmacy: not just for graduates
At this point I guess you’re wondering if a degree is needed to open a pharmacy. It may surprise you, but the answer is no. In fact, starting from the aforementioned liberalization decree , anyone can open a pharmacy. However, if you do not have a degree in pharmacy, you will necessarily need the help of a pharmacist to sell drugs. This means that the owner may not be in possession of the degree, but in this case he will have to consider the need to collaborate permanently with one or more registered pharmacists.