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Frequently Asked Questions

A pharma franchise is a franchise model where a pharmaceutical company provides marketing and selling rights to other businesses (retailers, suppliers, pharmacists, etc.) to sell pharmaceutical products while using the parent company’s name, trademarks and more.

Also referred to as the Propaganda cum Distribution (PCD) Pharma, this is an agreement between the pharma company, aka franchiser and the business buying the franchise. As per the agreement, the franchise can enjoy monopoly rights with minimal interference from the franchisers.

The pharma company also provides these franchises with the products, their packaging and distribution along with promotional inputs like notepads, pens, visiting cards, visual aids, and other promotional material.

The full form of PCD is Propaganda cum Distribution. A PCD Pharma Franchise is a pharmaceutical franchise business where a pharma company allows another business to buy a franchise from it and sell its products. This business is responsible for the marketing and distribution of the pharma products provided by the PCD franchise company.

  • The PCD Pharma company provides all the products as well as promotional inputs to its franchise partners.
  • The franchise partner uses the company’s name and trademark while conducting business.
  • The partner company enjoys its monopoly rights and functions as a separate entity.
  • The franchise owner enjoys the profit margins from the sales.

Is PCD Pharma different from Pharma Franchise? Yes and no. There are no major differences between a PCD pharma and a pharma franchise, only some minor ones. The two are defined as the permission given by a pharma company to other businesses to sell and market their pharmaceutical products on agreed terms and conditions.

However, PCD pharma and Pharma franchise differ on the basis of the scale of the business. PCD requires smaller areas, and less investment while franchises operate on larger areas, requiring more investment.

What is third party manufacturing? It is the outsourcing of the manufacture of pharmaceutical products from another manufacturing unit that are sold under your brand name. This works best for pharma companies that do not want to invest in complete manufacturing units, or do not have the funds to do so.

Third party manufacturing helps companies procure same quality products at a cheaper rate, without heavy investments in production.

Monopoly right means that a pharma franchise company provides the exclusive selling and promoting rights for its pharmaceutical products to a particular franchise in the region. This franchise also enjoys working as an independent entity, with minimal interference from the parent company.


Most businesses collaborate with pharma companies that provide monopoly rights to their associates.

The World Health Organization (WHO) as a part of the United Nations, is a public health and welfare organization overseeing that all products produced globally qualify as per the WHO quality standards.


Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are practices that ensure all products are produced in compliance to the quality standards and acceptable/recommended procedures for safety purposes.


Both WHO and GMP certifications are required for pharmaceutical products to enter the domestic market and to be sold legally. The WHO-GMP certificates are extremely valuable and imply that the company maintains all quality standards across departments.


These standards are applicable globally and the certifications state that a product is at par with international quality standards.

Ethical, PCD and Generic Medicines are similar in their production, raw material sources, strengths, dosage, efficacy etc., but they have other slight differences. For instance,

  • Generic medicines are cheaper than ethical or branded products.
  • PCD medications differ from ethical and generic medications due to their mode of distribution.

A drug license is the government’s permission to businesses, allowing them to deal with drugs and pharmaceuticals. To operate a pharma business in India, companies must apply for a drug license from the Drug Standard Control Organization.

To carry out a pharmaceutical business, there are two major drug licenses : Retail Drug License and Wholesale Drug License.

To obtain either of these licenses, you must-

  • Provide an affidavit from a registered pharmacist,
  • Provide an area of 15 sq. meters
  • Provide proper storage facilities required for different types of medications.
  1. Qualification and Experience: There aren’t any specific qualifications required, but an SSC or 12th certificate is preferable. On the other hand, a few years (3 or 4) of experience in sales and marketing of pharma products is preferable.
  2. Provide an area of 15 sq. meters
  3. Documents: You must submit a Drug License Number and Tax Identification Number to get a Pharma franchise from a Pharma company.
  4. Investment: PCD requires less investment than a pharma franchise as it operates with a smaller batch of medications.
  1. 5 tips to finding the best Pharma Franchise Company for PCD:

      1. Research - Find domestic PCD companies to evaluate and compare.
      2. Find out the benefits they provide to their franchises, this includes packaging benefits, distribution or promotional inputs.
      3. Do these companies provide monopoly rights to their franchises? Find out.
      4. Is the company transparent about all licenses and certifications? Look through the product quality assurance on the company website.
      5. Is the company capable of ensuring the consistent flow of all pharmaceutical products on time?

    Following these simple steps, mostly requiring research on your part, you should be able to find the most appropriate pharma franchise company to collaborate with.

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