SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – UPS is teaming up with CVS to use drones to deliver prescription medication to the largest retirement community in the U.S.
The purpose of the new service is to protect the older population and help safeguard pharmacy workers from contracting the coronavirus.
The companies announced Monday that they will begin the new service in The Villages in early May. The Florida community is home to more than 135,000 residents.
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 says drone transport offers a fast delivery option for medicines that are time-sensitive, while supporting social-distancing efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 Scott Price, UPS Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.
The service will use Matternet’s M2 drone system. It will operate under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules, with authority to operate through the pandemic and explore ongoing needs as they arise after that period.
“Now more than ever, it’s important that our customers have access to their prescriptions,” said Jon Roberts, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CVS Health. “In addition to our in-store pickup, free delivery services and drive through pickup, this drone delivery service provides an innovative method to reach some of our customers.”