THE VILLAGES, Fla. (WTXL) — On Monday, CVS and UPS announced their partnership to delivery prescription medications using drones from a CVS pharmacy to The Villages, Florida, the largest retirement community in the U.S.
The retirement 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.
The new service in central Florida begins in early May and could expand to include deliveries from two additional CVS pharmacies in the area.
Scott Price, the chief strategy and transformation officer at UPS, and Jon Roberts, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of CVS Health, say drone delivery aids in social distancing and protecting the most vulnerable during times like 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 Price. “UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting the spread of coronavirus, and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions.”
UPS and CVS announced their plans to jointly explore the use of drone delivery last year. They successfully completed their first drone deliveries of medical prescriptions from a CVS pharmacy in Cary, N.C. in November 2019.
The service will use Matternet’s M2 drone system, operating 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.