Cardinal Health to deliver drugs to pharmacies via drone

Cardinal Health will test the use of drones to expedite its delivery of medications and inhalers to pharmacies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Six details:

  1. The pharmaceutical distributor partnered with medical product delivery company Zipline International, which will operate the drones.

  2. The pilot program will begin in 2022 outside Charlotte, N.C., pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

  3. The drones, which look like miniature planes, will be about 6 feet from head to tail and will have 11-foot wingspans, according to the Journal. They will fly 300 to 400 feet above ground and use parachutes to drop shipments into landing areas the width of about two parking spaces.

  4. The drones can carry loads up to 4 pounds about 10 miles from a Zipline center in Kannapolis, N.C. Local pharmacies will receive shipments in 15 to 30 minutes.

  5. Cardinal Health is launching the pilot program to address restocking delays and unpredictable last-minute shipping prices. Josh Dolan, the company’s senior vice president of pharmaceutical operation, said drone delivery will allow the company to restock high-turnover items more quickly and be better prepared for natural disasters.

  6. Cardinal Health has not disclosed the pharmacy company participating in the pilot program.

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