Amazon To Begin Testing Drones That Will Physically Deliver Prescriptions to Your Door

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Amazon To Begin Testing Drones That Will Physically Deliver Prescriptions to Your Door
Amazon To Begin Testing Drones That Will Physically Deliver Prescriptions to Your Door

Amazon will soon be the next corporation to attempt drone deliveries for medications, making prescription drugs fall from the skies.

As Amazon becomes the next corporation to try drone deliveries, customers will be able to choose from more than 500 drugs, including typical remedies for ailments such as the flu or pneumonia but not controlled substances, according to Amazon. Customers in College Station, Texas, can now have medicines delivered by drone within an hour of placing their order, according to the business.

The drone, programmed to fly from a secure pharmaceutical delivery center, will fly to the customer’s address, descend to a height of around four meters (13 feet), and drop a padded box.

Last December, the company’s Prime Air branch began testing drone delivery of household necessities in College Station and Lockeford, California. According to Amazon spokesperson Jessica Bardoulas, the business has made hundreds of deliveries since establishing the service and is expanding it to include prescriptions in response to customer demands.

Following that announcement, Amazon stated that it will begin drone delivery in a third US city, as well as places in Italy and the United Kingdom, before the end of next year. The specific locations will be revealed in the following months, according to the business.

Some pharmaceuticals from the company’s pharmacy are already delivered within two days via Amazon Prime. However, pharmacy Vice President John Love stated that this does not help someone suffering from a severe disease such as the flu.

“What we’re trying to do is figure out how we can bend the curve on speed,” he stated.

According to Amazon Pharmacy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vin Gupta, the US health care system often struggles with swiftly detecting and treating individuals with acute diseases, a problem that was evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

He claims that shortening the time between diagnosis and treatment makes many treatments more successful.

Amazon is not the first firm to investigate the drone delivery of prescriptions. CVS Health collaborated with UPS to test delivery in North Carolina in 2019, but that experiment has since ceased, according to a CVS representative.

According to Daniel Duersch, Intermountain Health’s supply chain director, the health care provider began providing drone deliveries of prescriptions in the Salt Lake City area in 2021 and has since expanded the practice. Intermountain is collaborating with the logistics startup Zipline to employ parachute-dropped drones.

Companies wishing to deploy drones for commercial purposes have encountered roadblocks from regulators concerned with ensuring safety. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos predicted a decade ago that drone deliveries would be possible by 2018. Even now, the e-commerce giant is only utilizing the technology in a few markets.

According to Lisa Ellman, executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, an industry group that includes Amazon, regulatory permits have so far been limited to specific geographic areas and “in terms of their scope and usefulness to companies.”

Nonetheless, she highlighted that regulators have been providing more permissions. The FAA allowed Zipline and UPS permission to operate longer-range drones last month.Walmart is also seeking to build its own drone delivery service.

Furthermore, on Wednesday, Amazon announced the MK30, a new drone that will replace the drones it presently employs to deliver items by the end of next year. According to the business, the new drone flies further, is smaller and quieter, and has improved delivery capabilities.

Amazon has stated that its drones will fly as high as 120 meters, or roughly 400 feet, before gradually descending to the customer’s home. Before placing the package on a delivery marker, the drone will ensure that the delivery zone is free of pets, children, and other impediments. Amazon has been expanding its influence in health care for some years.

In addition to building a pharmacy, it paid roughly $4 billion to acquire primary care provider One Medical. The company expanded video telemedicine visits to all 50 states in August.

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