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October 25: CVS and UPS Test Drone Delivery for Prescriptions

Posted on in Industry Updates by Amplicare Team

Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week

The Story

Could your next prescription be delivered via drone? A new deal between CVS and UPS is testing the possibility. UPS has been partnering with healthcare groups as it develops new drone delivery technology to deliver medical supplies on hospital campuses and elsewhere. Its new deal with CVS will evaluate the use of drones for home deliveries of prescriptions and other products. 

Why It Matters

This deal moves UPS, which received U.S. regulatory approval earlier this month, into the consumer prescription delivery space. The company has already successfully tested deliveries of medical samples on hospital campuses, a service that it is also looking to expand. The drones making CVS deliveries will be automated with humans supervising the safety of the program. They will fly on pre-planned routes, carrying packages directly to customers’ front or back yards in as little as five or ten minutes. Bala Banesh, who leads the UPS advanced technology group told CNN Business, “This is a quantum leap in terms of what’s possible. Speed can make the difference between life and death.” For its part, CVS believes customers will appreciate the convenience of fast deliveries, particularly in rural areas. 

CVS and UPS are not the only high-profile players in the  drone delivery service game. Last Friday, Walgreens began to test its new drone delivery service in Virginia in partnership with Wing, Alphabet’s drone delivery company and FedEx. CVS and UPS have yet to announce when and where the services will begin. As these companies test the waters on consumer deliveries, their success in this space could open the doors for other pharmacies to extend their delivery services and improve the overall patient experience. 

Other Healthcare News to Watch

  1. Monthly premiums for the average Obamacare health plan are expected to drop about 4% for 2020. Reuters.
  2. GW Pharmaceuticals is looking to expand the use of CBD drugs to everything from multiple sclerosis to autism. Stat.
  3. Biogen is seeking regulatory approval for its Alzheimer’s drug that could be the “biggest drug ever.” CNBC.
  4. President Trump called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for quicker action to allow imported drugs from Canada. Reuters.
  5. As many as half of U.S. doctors and nurses experience burnout, says a new study by the National Academy of Medicine. Washington Post.

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