Drones to begin delivering prescription medications to residents in The Villages

Delivery via drone to begin in early May

THE VILLAGES, Fla. – Beginning in May, CVS pharmacies and UPS will partner to use drones to deliver prescription medications to residents living in The Villages, according to a news release.

UPS made the announcement Tuesday, saying the service will use Matternet’s M2 drone system to bring prescriptions filled by CVS pharmacies to the more than 135,000 residents living in the area.

Company officials said the service was developed to support social-distancing efforts and to streamline faster, same-day delivery of time- or temperature-sensitive medicines. The drone deliveries will comply with all FAA guidelines, according to a news release.

“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. “UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting the spread of coronavirus, and this is another way we can support our health care customers and individuals with innovative solutions.”

The new service in The Villages begins in early May 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, company officials said. The operation could expand to include deliveries from two additional CVS pharmacies in the area, according to a news release.

“The first flights will be less than one half mile and be delivered to a location near the retirement community,” officials said in a news release. “Initially, a ground vehicle will complete the delivery to the resident’s door.”

The companies successfully completed their first drone deliveries in November 2019, delivering prescriptions from a CVS pharmacy to residents in Cary, N.C., officials said.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.