Leading healthcare SaaS provider Charac today announces a ground-breaking partnership with world-class medication management platform MedAdvisor Solutions (ASX:MDR). The deal with Australia-based MedAdvisor allows Charac to expand it capabilities across Australia, New Zealand and the USA, making components of its app available to a far broader group of pharmacies internationally.
This will help to drive pharmacies’ growth as well as make it easier for patients to access an expanding range of services.
Under the terms of the agreement, MedAdvisor, through a strategic investment and licencing agreement, will invest up to £1 million over 9-months in Charac for up to a 7.4% shareholding, and the company’s CEO Rick Ratliff will join the Charac board as a Non-Executive Director.
MedAdvisor will end its operations in the UK, transferring its relationships to Charac, with this process expected to be completed by the second half of FY24.
Through licensing specific components of the Charac platform and integrating them as cloud-based enhancements into the MedAdvisor’s Plus One platform, already actively used in pharmacies across Australia and New Zealand, the partnership will allow for tremendous improvements in the delivery of digital pharmacy support, advanced home delivery solutions and eCommerce capabilities.
MedAdvisor has already connected with over 3.5 million patients through more than 95% of Australian community pharmacies. It also serves 25% of New Zealand’s community pharmacy network and works with 33,500 pharmacies in the US. Globally, MedAdvisor has achieved a milestone of 235 million patients, and this number continues to grow.
Charac’s app streamlines pharmacy operations onto a cloud-native platform specifically designed to relieve time pressure, increase efficiency and help drive the growth of independent pharmacies, as well as boost the take up of their services. Pharmacists can manage repeat prescriptions, access patient records, create bookings and conduct consultations all via the Charac app.
Globally there are huge growth opportunities across independent pharmacy sectors for advanced digital patient relationship management systems such as that offered by Charac. The UK Government’s recently implemented ‘Pharmacy First’ policy has mandated that patients suffering from a range of ailments be sent to local pharmacies in the first instance, with pharmacists allowed to prescribe medications that have typically been the preserve of GPs.
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The benefits of repositioning the role of the pharmacy are vast; according to insights from EY, 2.1 million additional primary care appointments could be generated in the UK every week.
Charac’s app is integrated with the NHS, and the company has already signed up some 800 pharmacies with 36,000 patients currently using the app in the UK. This has been achieved through various strategic partnerships, including with leading PMR software provider, Positive Solutions and the National Pharmacy Association.
The number of patients using the app is forecast to rise to 100,000 by early 2024 and Charac is projected to capture around 30% of the UK’s estimated 12,000 pharmacies by 2026. Given the £645 million NHS investment planned for community pharmacy services, the potential for Charac’s further growth is high.
Across the Australian and New Zealand markets, independent local pharmacies are a cornerstone of the frontline healthcare system. At present, there are 5,700 community pharmacies in Australia, and over 900 in New Zealand. Of the approximately 60,000 retail pharmacies in the USA, about one-third are independent pharmacies (23,254).
Within this group of independent pharmacies, there are over 1,800 pharmacy businesses operating as the only retail pharmacy within their rural community.
Regarding market size, in the UK the retail pharmacy market is projected to grow from around USD$27 billion in 2022 to $39.59 billion by 2030. In Australia, revenue in the pharmacies market is close to USD$20 billion, while in the USA, the market is valued at some USD$527 billion. All three markets have annual growth projections of between 4%-5%.
Charac has previously secured significant financial support from key industry players, including a notable £1 million investment from the Royal Mail, along with £1.2 million from the National Pharmacy Association and pharmacy owners.
Santosh Sahu, founder and CEO of Charac, said: “MedAdvisor is an ideal partner for us to help accelerate our international growth plans and pursue our ambitious mission to enable pharmacies to take advantage of the significant opportunities that present themselves.
There is a growing realisation globally that pharmacies can do so much more to help countries and governments relieve the pressure on their health systems, while also making it far easier for patients to access the increasing range of pharmacy services. The role of digitally managed patient engagement systems is vital in delivering this, and we believe our partnership with MedAdvisor will be a significant step forward in making this vision a reality.”
Rick Ratliff, CEO of MedAdvisor Solutions, said: “Both companies share a common focus on pharmacy-enabled patient engagement and are dedicated to supporting pharmacies as their role in the healthcare delivery system evolves. This strategic move reinforces our commitment to the UK market and aligns with our vision of creating a global impact in pharmacy-enabled patient engagement. We are confident that our collaboration with Charac will not only benefit our UK customers but will also open up exciting possibilities for growth in Australia/New Zealand and the US.”