The UPS and CVS partnership has completed its first prescription deliveries via drone, successfully flying medication from the pharmacy directly to the customer’s home.
The deliveries were completed on November 1, 2019, using the M2 drone system created by UPS in partnership with Matternet.
The flights launched from a CVS in Cary, before flying autonomously, while being monitored by a remote operator, and completing delivery at two separate destinations including a retirement home.
The drone then hovered 20 feet over the delivery destination before lowering the prescription to the ground via a cable and winch system.
CVS Pharmacy president, Kevin Hourican, said: “This drone delivery, the first of its kind in the industry, demonstrates what’s possible for our customers who can’t easily make it into our stores.
“CVS is exploring many types of delivery options for urban, suburban and rural markets. We see big potential in drone delivery in rural communities where life-saving medications are needed and consumers at times cannot conveniently access one of our stores.”
The milestone marks the first expansion beyond hospital campuses for UPS Flight Forward and Matternet having completed over 1,500 drone deliveries to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC since its launch in March 2019.
UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, Scott Price, added: “We now have an opportunity to offer different drone delivery solutions, tailored to meet customer needs for speed and convenience.
“Delivering prescriptions by drone directly to homes could greatly improve the patient experience for CVS customers. We’re delighted to build new services that will shatter preconceived notions of how, when and where goods can be delivered.”