Drones Make the Medicine Go Down
UPS Flight Forward Inc. and CVS Pharmacy have successfully completed the first revenue-generating drone delivery of a medical prescription from a CVS pharmacy directly to a consumer's home. This was followed by another delivery of a medical prescription to a second customer in a nearby retirement community. Both flights used the M2 drone system by UPS partner and drone systems developer Matternet.
The deliveries mark another milestone in a collaboration between UPS and CVS to develop a variety of drone delivery use cases, including business-to-consumer operating models. The companies plan ongoing drone delivery program development in order to bring to market the speed and convenience advantages of UAVs.
The recent prescription delivery flights occurred with FAA approval to conduct a residential drone delivery and according to FAA regulations.
The flights launched from a CVS store in Cary, North Carolina, and flew to CVS customers' homes. The drones flew autonomously but were monitored by a remote operator who could intervene if necessary. The drone hovered about 20 feet over the properties and slowly lowered the packages by a cable and a winch to the ground. One of the packages was delivered to a CVS customer whose limited mobility makes it difficult to travel to a store to pick up a prescription.