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: Amazing Amazon Fresh?
13.06.2022   #mobile payment #Tech in Retail

Amazing Amazon Fresh?

Our iXtenso editor tests an Amazon delivery service. Here he shares his impressions

After last year’s trip to Chicago, and its eventually successful search for an Amazon ‘Go’, iXtenso again had the chance to test the cutting edge of America’s continual evolution into grocery retailing. Astute iXtenso ...

Thumbnail-Photo: On to new owners!
20.06.2022   #online trading #e-commerce

On to new owners!

Via the platform 'Retury', returned parcels find new buyers – without detours

"I don't like that so much after all, I'll send it back." Let's face it, we've all been there before. In 2020, according to Statista, 315 million packages were returned to retailers and warehouses in Germany alone. From ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Uber and Nuro announce 10-year partnership for autonomous food deliveries...
12.09.2022   #Tech in Retail #delivery

Uber and Nuro announce 10-year partnership for autonomous food deliveries

Multi-year, multiple market partnership will begin with deliveries in Mountain View, California and Houston, Texas

Uber and Nuro, a leading autonomous vehicle company, have announced a multi-year partnership to use Nuro's autonomous, electric vehicles for food deliveries in the United States. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: DHL invests €560M in UK e-commerce operation to support growth...
27.07.2022   #online trading #e-commerce

DHL invests €560M in UK e-commerce operation to support growth

More than 4,000 jobs will be created through the investment focused on sustainable growth

DHL eCommerce Solutions has announced plans to invest €560m across its UK ecommerce operation, DHL Parcel UK. The investment comes following a 40% volume uplift since the start of 2020 and soaring demand for its ecommerce and B2B services. The ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart mailbox for autonomous deliveries
17.06.2022   #Tech in Retail #logistics

Smart mailbox for autonomous deliveries

Dronedek announces new partnership with Speedy Eats

Dronedek Founder and CEO Dan O'Toole fields dozens of contacts each week from organizations interested in working with his company, which is one of the first in the world to offer a secure, smart mailbox designed for autonomous deliveries. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retailers can remain competitive while reducing their environmental...
29.06.2022   #customer satisfaction #sustainability

Retailers can remain competitive while reducing their environmental footprint

Based on consumers’ sustainable delivery preferences

Greener delivery options are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have’. According to research from Metapack’s latest research in Germany, France and the UK, nearly 75% of online shoppers say that they consider ...

Thumbnail-Photo: InHome direct-to-fridge delivery as option for Walmart customers...
08.07.2022   #food retail #delivery

InHome direct-to-fridge delivery as option for Walmart customers

Walmart creates a convenient shopping experience

Starting on June 6th, Walmart’s InHome Delivery Service, which delivers groceries straight to your fridge, is now available as an optional add-on within Walmart+. What were previously two standalone memberships are joining forces to bring all ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Environmentally conscious aroma for your shipping...
09.06.2022   #e-commerce #sustainability

Environmentally conscious aroma for your shipping

How to make your logistics more sustainable

Is your lunch still missing that certain something? With the addition of a few herbs, your dish can develop an aromatic flavor and turn your menu into a feast. The right flavor also plays an important role in the recipe of your logistics, so that ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Autonomous flying warehouse drones reach luxury retail ecommerce...
09.08.2022   #Tech in Retail #warehouse management

Autonomous flying warehouse drones reach luxury retail ecommerce fulfillment

PFS partners with Vimaan for automated inventory tracking solutions

PFS, an eCommerce order fulfillment provider, announced a partnership with Vimaan, a technology provider delivering computer vision-enabled solutions for warehouse inventory tracking, control and management.Initially, PFS is integrating ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Tesco electrifies deliveries to more than 400 stores...
24.08.2022   #sustainability #Tech in Retail

Tesco electrifies deliveries to more than 400 stores

Introduction of new electric truck will help improve air quality and reduce emissions

In an industry first, Tesco has become the first retailer to launch a zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries from its distribution centres to stores in city centres. ...

Supplier

iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
Metapack
Metapack
Bahnhofstraße 37
53359 Rheinbach
EuroShop
EuroShop
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf