Research & Development
Pharmacy app Charac receives £1.2m funding from NPA and pharmacy owners
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 its total funds raised to £2.5m.
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 Government’s Pharmacy First scheme, by which patients with various minor ailments will first be sent to pharmacies before seeing their GP.
The app is designed to lessen the operational burden of independent community pharmacies while also aiding them in delivering on the 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.
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.
Simon Tebbutt, director of membership at the NPA, stated: “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.”
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.”