UPS to deliver CVS prescriptions by drone during pandemic, maybe longer

Residents of Florida’s largest retirement community are soon to receive their meds by unmanned aerial vehicles.

The joint CVS-UPS service will begin at The Villages next week or the week after, initially dropping drugs from a single pharmacy nearby for a human ground transporter to bring to the doors of residents.

According to an announcement from UPS, its Flight Forward service will operate under the FAA’s Part 107 rules, which greenlight the system to run while COVID-19 continues to present the U.S. with a national emergency.

However, the program may continue after the COVID-19 public-health crisis subsides—and expand to include additional CVS stores—as corporate stakeholders “explore ongoing needs as they arise.”

The service isn’t entirely new to UPS and CVS. The two piloted the program last year with residential prescription deliveries in North Carolina.

The Villages is a census-designated place in Florida’s Sumter County. As of last spring it was home to more than 120,000 residents.