NHS-integrated pharmacy app Charac receives £1.2m funding

Betsy Goodfellow | September 12, 2023 | News story | Research and Development Charac, Pharmacy, app, digital health, pharmacies 

Charac, an NHS-integrated pharmacy app, has raised £1.2m in debt and equity financing from the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) and pharmacy owners, bringing the total funds raised by Charac to £2.5m.

The app is designed to lessen the operational burden of independent community pharmacieswhile also aiding them in delivering on the Government’s Pharmacy First approach. The app hopes to increase local pharmacies’ online capabilities, as well as relieving time pressure, increasing efficiency and helping to increase growth of community pharmacies.

Recent rising operational costs, staff shortages and reduced government funding has led to a lot of pharmacy closures across the UK, at a time when local pharmacies are under more pressure due to the initiation of the Pharmacy First scheme, by which patients with various minor ailments will first be sent to pharmacies before seeing their GP.

To date, at least 400 pharmacies have signed up to the app, with this expected to rise to 2,000 in 2024, allowing them to access patient records, create bookings and conduct consultations.

Santosh Sahu, Charac’s founder, commented: “Longer-term this is good news, but right now many pharmacies are focusing more on survival and will struggle to fulfil the new expanded role planned for them by the Government. So many of Britain’s pharmacies are just not in the position they need to be to pick up the extra scope. We intend to help significantly improve the health of community pharmacies and enable them to play the larger role that is expected of them.”

Simon Tebbutt, director of membership at the NPA, added: “Our aim is to help independents become more than a match for the national pharmacy chains in terms of their digital interface with patients. Together, NPA, pharmacy owners and Charac will ensure that independent pharmacies can meet modern consumer expectations and adapt to the ever-evolving environment”.

Betsy Goodfellow

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