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UPS, CVS Launch Residential Drone Delivery Of Prescription Medicines

UPS Flight Forward Inc. or UPSFF, a subsidiary of UPS (UPS), and CVS Health Corp. (CVS) subsidiary CVS Pharmacy, Inc. announced Tuesday the successful completion of the first revenue-generating drone delivery of a medical prescription from a CVS pharmacy directly to a consumer's home.

This was followed by another delivery of a medical prescription to a second customer in a nearby retirement community. Both flights occurred on Friday, November 1, 2019, using the M2 drone system by UPS partner and drone systems developer Matternet.

The drone hovered about 20 feet over the properties and slowly lowered the packages by a cable and a winch to the ground. One of the packages was delivered to a CVS customer whose limited mobility makes it difficult to travel to a store to pick up a prescription.

These were the first commercial drone deliveries of a medical prescription in the United States under an U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or FAA-approved program.

The deliveries mark another milestone in a recently announced collaboration between UPS and CVS to develop a variety of drone delivery use cases, including business-to-consumer operating models.

The deliveries also reflect an important step for UPSFF as it expands operations beyond those it currently offers on hospital campuses. UPSFF was the first company approved by the U.S. FAA to operate a drone airline under a Part 135 Standard certification.

UPSFF and Matternet have completed more than 1,500 revenue-generating drone deliveries (nearly 8,000 samples) at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, since launching service there in March 2019.

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