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Boots completes drone delivery of prescription medicines in UK first

Boots completes drone delivery of prescription medicines in UK first

HealthcareTop StoriesTrade & LogisticsUnited Kingdom

Boots has become the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport prescription-only medicines by Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones.

A leading health and beauty retailer, Boots has already completed a test flight transporting prescription-only medicines by drone from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

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

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

“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 at 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.

“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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