Charac, an NHS-integrated one-stop platform for independent community pharmacies, has secured £1 million strategic investment from the Royal Mail Group, enabling its time-saving platform to assist more local pharmacies and patients across the UK to easily manage their prescriptions and consultations online.
The company said this new money will enable it to leverage strong levels of trust that pharmacists enjoy within the communities they serve in and will ensure pharmacies remain a cornerstone of vibrant high streets and an invaluable provider of frontline healthcare products and services, including vitally needed consultations.
Charac says it is aiming to sign up over 1,000 UK pharmacies in the next 12 months by expanding its geographic footprint beyond current cities, including London, Manchester and Birmingham, and targeting small multiple and independent pharmacies, accounting for almost 40 per cent of the UK’s community pharmacy network.
The announcement also sees the addition of Stefan Kulik, a managing director at Royal Mail, to the Charac board. Stefan is responsible for leading Royal Mail’s expansion into the healthcare industry and brings a breadth of experience, having previously worked in healthcare with companies including Johnson & Johnson.
Commenting on the investment, Santosh Sahu, founder of Charac, said: “In the UK today, it is estimated that just three per cent of all prescriptions are ordered digitally, with most UK pharmacies still lacking the ability to digitise their services.
“This places undue pressure on the wider NHS and prevents an estimated 18 million GP consultations being transferred to community pharmacists, who are equipped to manage many health conditions that would typically be associated with GP care. Today’s investment will help local pharmacies across the UK adapt, survive and thrive by arming them with the necessary technology to exist in our houses as well as on our high street.”
Kulik added: “This is an exciting time to be working alongside Charac to enable pharmacies to provide patients and consumers with greater access to prescriptions and appointments through their local healthcare professionals. At Royal Mail, we know the importance of being able to guarantee the reliable and safe delivery of medicines to ensure patients get the healthcare they need at the right time.”