Cardinal Health Inc. has reportedly announced a pilot program in which the use of drones would boost the supply of medicines and reduce transportation hassles.
The company has publicized its plan to start the test run of drones for the delivery of essential medical supplies like pills, inhalers and other pharmaceutical items in the US.
As per credible sources, the pilot program would commence from next year with drone operator Zipline International Inc., after receiving a green flag from the Federal Aviation Administration.
In the process of operation, 11-foot wingspan aerial drones would reportedly fetch loads weighing four pounds through 10 miles, from Zipline’s distribution center in Kannapolis, N.C to regional pharmacies within 15-30 minutes.
Cardinal, however, remained tight lipped in naming the pharmacy company participating in the program.
Reportedly, the pilot program is Cardinal’s first foray into drone deliveries enabling the Dublin-Ohio centered distributor achieve its main agenda of reliability and speed. These flights would help the company figure out a way to curb the challenges of volatile shipping charges and delay in restocking.
Josh Dolan, Cardinal Health’s Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations stated that the drone deliveries would help prevent natural disasters and road accidents, assisting the company to achieve high revenue.
Josh added that the new technology would be essential in the situations of emergencies to provide aid in remote areas.
According to sources, San Francisco based operator Zipline has earlier used the aerial drones for the urgent delivery of blood and vaccines in the remote parts of Africa during the coronavirus outbreak.
For the record, apart from Cardinal Health, other companies like Merck & Co., Walmart Inc. and United Parcel Services are also experimenting with the drone technology for the domestic shipment of medical supplies.
As per the claims by Conor French, Zipline’s General Counsel, the company is partnering with other companies like Walmart for the delivery of merchandise and for medical deliveries for hospitals in Salt Lake City.