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CVS starts delivering prescriptions to homes via UPS drones

It could help people who can't visit the pharmacy themselves.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 5, 2019
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It didn't take long for UPS and CVS to start delivering prescriptions by drone. The two have confirmed that they completed their first paid home deliveries of prescriptions, hauling medicine to two homes (one of which was a retirement community) in Cary, North Carolina on November 1st. The drones flew autonomously and lowered the packages to the ground with a cable and winch, although there was a human operator ready to take control.

This isn't the first paid delivery of any kind from UPS. The company has a deal to shuttle medical samples between WakeMed facilities in Raleigh. That's a commercial arrangement over areas that are under a company's control. Now, it's flying in residential areas and delivering to everyday people. Alphabet's Wing is already delivering medicine as part of a pilot program, but that's limited to over-the-counter medication, gifts and snacks.

It's not exactly a booming business with just two deliveries. However, it's still a significant milestone. The deliveries point to a future where you don't have to travel to the pharmacy, or else wait for a courier truck to make its usual rounds -- you could get the medicine you need within minutes of your supply running out. It also bodes well for mainstream adoption of drone delivery, even if it's likely to be a long while before you can assume your prescription pills will descend from the skies.

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