Royal Mail invests £1m in digital pharmacy platform Charac

Charac, the digital platform for independent pharmacies, has announced a £1 million strategic investment from Royal Mail Group.

The company was founded in 2020 with the aim of providing a platform for the 7,200 independent pharmacies unable to offer digital services.

The platform enables consumers to access and re-order prescriptions online and provides digital consultations with community pharmacists.

“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,” said Stefan Kulik, managing director of Royal Mail Health, and board member at Charac. “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.”

Charac also announced plans to sign up more than 1,000 UK pharmacies over the next 12 months. It said it would move beyond the cities it currently serves – including London, Manchester, and Birmingham – instead targeting small multiple and independent pharmacies, which it said account for almost 40 per cent of the UK’s pharmacies.

"In the UK today, it is estimated that just 3 per cent of all prescriptions are ordered digitally, with most UK pharmacies still lacking the ability to digitise their services," said Santosh Sahu, founder, Charac. "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.”

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