Innovation

Can I Get My Prescriptions via Drone, Please?

The delivery method could revolutionize how we pick up medication.

UPS has delivered its first CVS prescriptions via drones. The two companies partnered to complete the first two paid home deliveries of prescription drugs on November 1.

In September, UPS received broad certification from the FAA that allows their Flight Forward drones to collect payment for deliveries. They complete deliveries by first taking off from a platform and flying to a designated drop-off area. They then lower the packages onto the ground from an altitude of approximately 20 feet. The deliveries were made autonomously but had a remote operator standing by to take over.

“This is a huge event because for the first time, a drone has delivered prescription drugs to a person’s home,” UPS Advance Technology Group Vice President Bala Ganesh said. “This could be a life-changing event, especially for elderly or sick people who cannot leave their home to go pick up a prescription from a store. So, this is going to change the way care is provided to these patients as we move forward.”

Google also has an FAA-certified drone delivery service via their Wing program that delivers medications and other healthcare items. Because of their recent certification, UPS can reportedly fly as many drones as necessary to meet customer demand.

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