UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) has announced plans to begin using drones to deliver prescription medicines from a CVS pharmacy to a 135,000-resident retirement community in central Florida. According to UPS, the initial delivery flights will travel less than half a mile to a drop location near the community and be taken to residents by ground vehicle. The service is expected to begin in May.
“Our new drone delivery service will help CVS provide safe and efficient deliveries of medicines to this large retirement community, enabling residents to receive medications without leaving their homes,” said UPS chief strategy and transformation officer Scott Price. “UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting the spread of Coronavirus, and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions.”
UPSFF received FAA approval to run unmanned aerial delivery vehicles under FAR Part 135 last October. As previously reported by AVweb, UPS and CVS made the first U.S. commercial drone deliveries of medical prescriptions to customers’ homes in Cary, North Carolina, in November 2019. As with those deliveries, UPSSF will be using the Matternet M2 drone for its Florida service. The company has also completed more than 3,700 delivery flights for its “revenue-generating” drone delivery service at WakeMed’s hospital campus in Raleigh, North Carolina.