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NPA partners with Charac to accelerate digitisation in community pharmacies

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Charac, an NHS-integrated one-stop platform for independent community pharmacies, and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) have announced their long-term partnership to allow pharmacies to deliver the broad range of services needed to support the public.

The NPA and Charac will collaborate with members of the NPA and beyond to accelerate the necessary digital transition of independent community pharmacies, particularly given their importance to poorer communities and less advantaged individuals at high risk due to potential pharmacy closures.

The partnership is part of the NPA’s efforts to improve the online presence of community pharmacies, including patient application, online booking, website design, and a delivery service. With Charac similarly dedicated to bettering digital interaction with patients, the new joint ecosystem will provide pharmacies with the necessary funding and cutting-edge technology to aid delivery of primary care.

Due to GP shortages and pressures on the NHS, pharmacies are needed more than ever. By 2026, all new pharmacy graduates will qualify as prescribers, and with some 35 medical conditions now not being prescribed medication from a GP, pharmacies have been trumpeted by the government as an alternative option for consultations. However, they need to free up the capacity and means to do this effectively.

One of the biggest opportunities for improving efficiencies is to digitise certain tasks,  to free up more time for patient care.

Charac can help because it is an app designed specifically for community pharmacies, to drive growth, relieve time pressure and increase efficiency. Historically, pharmacies have focused on dispensing medicines, but as the healthcare needs of the population continue to change, pharmacies are providing more holistic care, often involving clinical consultations.

Through Charac, pharmacists are now able to manage repeat prescriptions as well as booking and conducting consultations all in one place and are now able to access patient records, prescriptions, and consultations all in one place. The prescriptions can be delivered directly to a patient’s home due to Charac’s recent £1 million strategic investment from the Royal Mail.

The partnership with the NPA adds Charac’s innovative approach to patient engagement to the association’s business partnership programme, as one of just 52 trusted partners.

Santosh Sahu, Founder of Charac, said: “We are thrilled to announce our long-term partnership with such a well-respected and influential organisation, particularly at a time where the cost-of-living crisis, a looming recession, and a stretched NHS have created a perfect storm for the new health secretary. Greater recognition from the Department of Health for the vital role that pharmacists play in our health ecosystem is essential and Charac stands ready to alleviate these burdens by digitally empowering pharmacists”.

Simon Tebbutt, Director of Membership at the NPA, said: “It is an exciting opportunity to work with a company with the ambition of Charac as one of our trusted partners. Charac presented an attractive solution to enable community pharmacies to modernise their platforms, and we look forward to working towards this shared goal. It is vital that this gap in the market is filled: digital transformation has accelerated immensely over the last couple of years, and has become a necessity in healthcare, reflected in our partnerships with Charac.”

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