A Chat with Santosh Sahu, Founder at Patient Relationship Platform: Charac

Charac derives from ‘Charka’, the inventor of Ayurveda medicine in India. When we were looking to register a company name, we spent a lot of time carefully researching and looked to the South Asian community for inspiration, given many of the community pharmacies in the UK are run within these communities.

We eventually landed on naming the company Charac, and we’ve been known as this ever since. At Charac, we believe that a holistic approach and rapid digitisation will help independent pharmacies safeguard their businesses and create new revenue sources amid pressure from the NHS. Our platform enables pharmacies to digitise their current processes by providing repeat prescription and consultations via phone, 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 digitise legacy businesses. As a diabetic patient, I grew tired of making calls to my pharmacy for prescriptions and didn’t have access to an app that could properly track the status of my prescription.

In day-to-day life, there are so many apps we can use but when it comes to the most important part – our health – there aren’t adequate apps to order prescriptions, speak to a pharmacist and keep a record of conversations. The heavy dependency on GPs, who are under increased pressure as a result of the Pandemic and staff shortages, has paved the way for pharmacists to play a bigger role in delivering primary care.
 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

 
We initially launched with an appointment management system in August 2020, which we reiterated when two pharmacy owners invested in the business to really develop a tool that worked best for them.

In 2021, we integrated with NHS IM1 to integrate and offer repeat prescriptions. This year, we’ve partnered with Royal Mail to offer prescription delivery services through the posties.
 

What can we hope to see from Charac in the future?

 
Our mission is to champion independent community pharmacies and help them survive and thrive. In 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 the UK’s pharmacies.

Over the next five years, we want to help pharmacies deliver millions of consultations and record them using our system.