The Drones are Coming

It sounds like the future, but it’s happening now: prescriptions delivered via drone.

On November 1st, CVS Pharmacy and UPS’s Flight Forward subsidiary successfully used drones to deliver prescriptions to the homes of customers for the very first time.

The drone, which was developed by Matternet, departed on its inaugural flight from a CVS store in Cary, North Carolina and flew to two customers’ homes, where it then hovered about 20 feet over the ground and slowly lowered the packages to the ground via a cable and winch. One of the packages was delivered to a CVS customer with limited mobility, which makes it difficult for them to travel to a store to pick up a prescription—exactly the sort to customer CVS and UPS had in mind while getting into the drone delivery business.

“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,” said Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, in a press release. “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.”

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