UPS will begin using drones to deliver CVS prescription medication in early May to people in The Villages, Florida, the companies announced Monday.
The service will make it less necessary for people in that massive retirement community to visit pharmacies amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the companies. The operation has been approved under Federal Aviation Administration rules to operate during the pandemic and may continue afterward.
“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 a statement. “In addition to our in-store pickup, free delivery services and drive through pickup, this drone delivery service provides an innovative method to reach high-risk customers.”
The initial flights won’t go all the way to customers’ doors: Instead, the deliveries will be completed by a UPS ground vehicle. It’s not the companies’ first foray into home drone delivery: They began experimenting with prescription deliveries via the autonomous aircraft in November.
UPS Flight Forward, the delivery company’s drone unit, has also participated in tests in Virginia aimed at studying how drone delivery can be useful to medical professionals amid the pandemic.