News • 03.08.2022

From the pharmacy to home – with a drone

Boots completes drone delivery of prescription medicines in UK first

A drone on an airfield
Source: Boots UK

Boots has become the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport prescription-only medicines by uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones. The leading health and beauty retailer has already completed a test flight transporting prescription-only medicines by drone from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight earlier this month.  

  • Boots is assessing the potential for using drones for the delivery of prescription medicines after completing a test flight from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight  
  • Test flight made Boots the first community pharmacy in the UK to transport prescription medicines by drone 
  • Boots is working with medical drone startup Apian to facilitate a trial

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.

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.” 

Max Coppin, Chief Operating Officer at Apian, said: "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."

Technical data of the drones

The UAVs are electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the largest of which weigh 85kg, have a wingspan of 5m and can carry up to 20kg of payload. They were designed and developed by Skylift, who were selected by Apian to be the project’s drone operator partners. They will be based at the British Army’s Baker Barracks on Thorney Island and flown by professional drone pilots. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted permission for the UAVs to fly in segregated airspace between Baker Barracks on Thorney Island and St Mary’s Hospital’s helipad on the Isle of Wight. 

*The prescription medicines on the UAVs will include those that are regularly dispensed on the Isle of Wight.

Source: Boots UK

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Serving customer expectations with fast delivery...
04.05.2022   #Tech in Retail #iXtenso videos

Serving customer expectations with fast delivery

Automated storage and retrieval system AutoStore @ NRF 2022

„Retail has truly changed,“ says Jon Schechter, Business Development Manager at AutoStore System in an interview at NRF 2022.The COVID pandemic has pushed e-commerce demand even further, customers expect fast and reliable ...

Thumbnail-Photo: FedEx plans to test autonomous drone cargo delivery with Elroy Air...
25.04.2022   #e-commerce #logistic systems

FedEx plans to test autonomous drone cargo delivery with Elroy Air

FedEx and Elroy Air work to launch test flights aimed at middle-mile delivery in 2023

FedEx Express is teaming up with California Bay Area-based Elroy Air, the company building the first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system. As a first of its kind agreement in the U.S., FedEx Express ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Glory expands presence to support growth in Poland...
14.04.2022   #logistics #cash management

Glory expands presence to support growth in Poland

Glory expands its direct sales & services presence in Eastern Europe to support growth in Poland

Glory has announced continued expansion, with the opening of a direct sales office in Warsaw. Glory Global Solutions (Poland) LLC will capitalise on growth in the Polish market specifically in retail sector. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Home pickup for convenient ecommerce returns...
16.03.2022   #customer satisfaction #services

Home pickup for convenient ecommerce returns

Narvar service available in ten major metros in the U.S. including San Francisco, NY, LA and Chicago

Narvar announced the rollout of its Home Pickup service, a carrier-agnostic returns service that allows shoppers to schedule a courier to pick up return packages at their homes. More than 70 retailers, including DSW and Ann Taylor, piloted the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Visibility and control are consumers’ priorities for last-mile delivery...
25.03.2022   #customer satisfaction #services

Visibility and control are consumers’ priorities for last-mile delivery

Consumer demand: tracking deliveries via GPS and redirecting deliveries

Anyline announced findings of its “Last-Mile Delivery: Customer Perception Report 2022.” The survey, conducted on behalf of Anyline by Researchscape, highlights the major pain points of last-mile delivery that have surfaced since the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The iXtenso editorial team was hungry ...
28.02.2022   #delivery #online food retailing

The iXtenso editorial team was hungry ...

... and tested the Gorillas and Flink delivery services

Food delivery services in city centers are picking up speed. Drivers with oversized backpacks on their backs are increasingly common, sometimes even late at night. Popular services promise to deliver the groceries ordered via app to your doorstep ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovations in logistics from delivery to return...
11.05.2022   #Tech in Retail #logistics

Innovations in logistics from delivery to return

The new last mile: from orderable stores and smart packaging

Logistics on the so-called "last mile" can well tolerate clever solutions, the demand for orders is increasing and future-oriented, sustainable ideas are needed. This applies to delivery as well as transport packaging and the big issue of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Blue Yonder: Most consumers willing to delay deliveries if its more...
04.05.2022   #sustainability #coronavirus

Blue Yonder: Most consumers willing to delay deliveries if it's more sustainable

Survey finds 86% of consumers willing to wait longer for their orders if it helps the environment, 44% say their interest in shopping sustainably has increased since the start of the pandemic

Blue Yonder has released findings from its 2022 Consumer Sustainability Survey, which revealed retail consumer preferences related to sustainable shopping habits. The survey found that more than three-quarters (86%) of consumers are willing to delay ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Robomart signs deal with Unilever to launch The Ice Cream Shop Robomarts...
17.05.2022   #Tech in Retail #smartphone

Robomart signs deal with Unilever to launch "The Ice Cream Shop" Robomarts

Pilot partnership introduces ice cream delivery – arrives in as little as two minutes

Robomart, the world’s first store-hailing service, has announced a partnership with Unilever, the world’s largest ice cream producer, under its virtual storefront, The Ice Cream Shop. Unilever will deploy a fleet of Ice Cream Robomarts ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Ease of returns as top priority in online purchase...
09.02.2022   #online trading #e-commerce

Ease of returns as top priority in online purchase

Right returns process reaps the most consumer loyalty

89 percent of consumers identify ease of returns as top priority when purchasing online. That’s according to new data from delivery experience platform Sorted, which found that retailers who get the returns process right will reap the most ...

Supplier

GLORY Global Solutions (Germany) GmbH
GLORY Global Solutions (Germany) GmbH
Thomas-Edison-Platz 1
63263 Neu-Isenburg