Boots assess drones for delivery of prescription medicines

Boots is currently assessing the potential for using drones to deliver prescription medicines, following a flight test in July.

The test flight was completed from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight, to deliver prescription medicines using a drone (uncrewed aerial vehicle). 

Working with tech start-up Apian to facilitate the test, Boots is assessing the potential of drones, and how the technology can be adopted in the future. The drone developed by Skylift, is flown by a professional drone pilot, has a wingspan of five metres, and can carry up to 20kg.

Rich Corbridge, Chief Information Officer at Boots, commented on the project: “Drones have huge potential in the delivery of medicines. 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.

“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.”

Max Coppin, Chief Operating Officer at Apian, added: “Not only can drones deliver medicine to hospitals but we are particularly excited about our partnership with Boots as it demonstrates drones can also help bring care closer to communities. Whilst faster and more reliable than ground transportation they bring with them additional environmental benefits and offer a more sustainable solution for delivery.”

Boots shared a short video of the drone in action: