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Boots trials drone delivery of prescription medicines

Sophie Smith
27 July 2022

Boots has launched its first drone delivery service, transporting prescription-only medicines.

The health and beauty retailer, which claims to be the first community pharmacy in the UK to do so, has already completed a test flight transporting prescription-only medicines by uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight earlier this month.

The test flight departed from Portsmouth and arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, with the medicines then collected by Boots and transported to its pharmacies across the island.

Boots worked with medical drone startup Apian to facilitate the test flight and is now assessing the future potential for drones in medicines delivery.

Rich Corbridge, Chief Information Officer at Boots, said: “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.

"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.”

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