UPS and CVS Health Corporation announced this week that they will deploy the use of drones to deliver prescription medicines to The Villages in Florida, the largest retirement community in the US. In the news release, Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer stated: “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. 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.”
This service will begin in early May, abiding by Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules. This has the potential for expansion “to include deliveries from two additional CVS pharmacies in the area,” noted Monday’s announcement. “The first flights will be less than one half mile and be delivered to a location near the retirement community. Initially, a ground vehicle will complete the delivery to the resident’s door.”
UPS’ subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) will use Matternet’s M2 drone system. UPS and CVS first announced such a partnership last year, completing their first successful prescription delivery in November 2019 in Cary, NC. Previously, UPS teamed up with Matternet to launch a revenue-generating drone delivery service at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in Raleigh, NC; it was later followed by service at University of California San Diego Health system.