Although the company already delivers some prescriptions in two days, the drone method of delivery happens within an hour
By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Amazon announced Wednesday that it has started to test drone deliveries of prescription medications, delivering drugs to consumers’ doorsteps within an hour.
“We’re taught from the first days of medical school that there is a golden window that matters in clinical medicine,” Vin Gupta, M.D., chief medical officer of Amazon Pharmacy, said in a company news release. “That’s the time between when a patient feels unwell and when they’re able to get treatment. We’re working hard at Amazon to dramatically narrow the golden window from diagnosis to treatment, and drone delivery marks a significant step forward.”
Although the company already delivers some prescriptions in two days via Amazon Prime, the drone method of delivery happens within an hour, according to the company. “Our drones fly over traffic, eliminating the excess time a customer’s package might spend in transit on the road,” explained Calsee Hendrickson, director of product and program management at Prime Air. “That’s the beauty of drone delivery, and medications were the first thing our customers said they also want delivered quickly via drone.”
Customers in College Station, Texas, are first to try out the service, which Amazon said has already begun, the Associated Press reported. Drones are programmed to fly from a secure pharmacy at a delivery center, and then descend down to 13 feet at a customer’s address and drop the padded package. The drones are expected to fly as high as 400 feet. The drone can also check that the area is clear of children and pets before dropping the package.
More than 500 medications will be available this way, including treatments for flu and pneumonia, the company said. The company also plans to add a third U.S. location and cities in Italy and the United Kingdom to its drone delivery system by the end of 2024. By that same time, the company will introduce a new drone called the MK30. That drone is smaller, quieter, and flies farther, the AP reported.
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