A conversation with Santosh Sahu, founder of Pharmacy Logistics App: Charac
Charac is derived from ‘Charka’, the inventor of Ayurvedic medicine in India. When looking to register a company name, we spent a lot of time doing careful research and looked to the South Asian community for inspiration, as many of the UK’s community pharmacies are run within these communities.
Finally, we ended up calling the company Charac, and we’ve been known that way ever since. At Charac, we believe a holistic approach and rapid digitization will help independent pharmacies protect their business and create new revenue streams under pressure from the NHS. Our platform enables pharmacies to digitize their current processes through repeat prescriptions and consultations via telephone, video, desktop or mobile.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Charac was born out of my passion for the high street and my desire to digitize legacy businesses. As a diabetic, I got tired of calling my pharmacy for prescriptions and couldn’t access an app that could properly track the status of my prescription.
In everyday life, there are so many apps that we can use, but when it comes to the most important part – our health – there aren’t enough apps to order prescriptions, talk to a pharmacist and track conversations. The heavy reliance on GPs, who are under increasing pressure due to the pandemic and staff shortages, has paved the way for pharmacists to play a greater role in primary care.
How has the company developed in recent years?
We initially launched an appointment management system in August 2020, which we repeated when two pharmacy owners invested in the business to really develop a tool that worked best for them.
In 2021 we will be integrated with NHS IM1 to integrate and offer repeat prescriptions. This year we are partnering with Royal Mail to offer prescription delivery services through the postal service.
What can we hope to see in Charac’s future?
Our mission is to promote independent community pharmacies and help them survive and thrive. Over the next 12 months, we aim to sign up over 1,000 UK pharmacies by expanding our geographic footprint beyond current cities, including London, Manchester and Birmingham, and targeting small multiple and independent pharmacies, accounting for almost 40% of pharmacies in the UK.
Over the next five years, we want to help pharmacies deliver and record millions of consultations with our system.