Boots delivers medicines via drone in UK first

Boots has completed a drone delivery of prescription medicines in what the company describes as a UK first.

The health and beauty retailer already completed a test flight transporting prescription-only medicines by drone from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight earlier this month.

The flight departed from the British Army’s Baker Barracks on Thorney Island near Portsmouth and arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight.

Boots collected the medicines and transported them to its pharmacies across the island, where they will be dispensed to patients with prescriptions for them.

“Drones have huge potential in the delivery of medicines and it is incredibly exciting to be the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport them in this way,” said Rich Corbridge, chief information officer, Boots. “An island location like the Isle of Wight seemed like a sensible place to start a trial of drones and their value to the delivery of medicines to more remote locations is very clear.”

Corbridge added: “In this trial, we will be looking at how much time we can save, as well as how we can incorporate drones into our medicines supply chain to create economic efficiencies too. We want to prepare now for the wider use of this technology in the future.”

The company, which worked with medical drone start-up Apian to facilitate the delivery, said it is now assessing the future potential for drones in medicines delivery.

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