Merck, Vidant Health pilot drone delivery program for temp-controlled medicines

Merck is teaming up with drone startup Volansi to deliver cold chain medicines from Merck's Wilson, N.C., manufacturing site to Vidant Health's Wilson medical center, the companies announced Oct. 20.

The project's initial flights became the first drone delivery of cold chain medicines in the country. Common temperature-controlled medicines include aerosol sprays for asthma, eye drops for glaucoma, diabetes medications and several COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Vidant Health's chief operating officer, Brian Floyd, called the initiative an "exciting endeavor to explore additional ways we can meet the unique needs of those we serve."

Craig Kennedy, Merck's senior vice president of global supply management said the program will help the drugmaker "explore new innovative delivery options that would complement [its] existing supply chain capabilities." 

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