Amazon Launches Medicine Delivery Drones
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Amazon Launches Medicine Delivery Drones

Photo by:   Annie Spratt, Unsplash
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Mariana Allende By Mariana Allende | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Fri, 10/20/2023 - 16:33

Amazon Pharmacy has begun delivering prescription medicine by drone in Texas, promising lower costs and more convenient dispatch. 

The e-commerce giant launched its drone delivery service in select cities in the United States in late 2022, aiming  to make more efficient deliveries. With this feature, drones are able to scan the drop area to make sure there are no people, animals, or other obstructions. Despite some delivery failures, Amazon plans to launch Prime Air in Italy and the United Kingdom in 2024. 

Now, Amazon is also delivering prescription medication in College Station, Texas through Amazon Pharmacy. After the acquisition of PillPack in 2018, Amazon is able to source medications with insurance copay, lower prices, prescription, and an alleged 60-minute delivery. When a delivery is placed, a pharmacist will oversee the preparation of medications. Customer service is available 24/7. 

“Since its launch in late 2020, Amazon Pharmacy has focused on removing the hurdles that prevent customers from getting the care they need — including RxPass, which offers US$5-per-month access to more than 50 generic medications, and automatic manufacturer-sponsored coupons that deliver instant savings on brand-name medications,” reads Amazon’s press release.  

Clients facing pressing healthcare issues can use Amazon Clinic, a virtual service available around the clock that caters to 35 different conditions, including the newly introduced cold and flu treatment. Clients can also opt for One Medical, a hybrid primary care service blending virtual and in-person appointments. These benefits may get the attention of customers’ increasing demand for convenient and fast delivery, as traditional pharmacy chains like Rite Aid, which filed for bankruptcy, get left behind. 

Neither the drone service nor Amazon Pharmacy are available in Mexico, as the regulations and the architecture of the country may prove difficult to work around. The Mexican government restricts the use of drones to daylight hours, at least 9.2km from controlled airports, and 900m from heliports. Due to the abundance of heliports in Mexico City, this service may not be possible. 

In Mexico, medicines must be sold in registered locations and the sale of prescription medication requires the registration of  a valid ID. As Amazon Pharmacy is not registered as a valid sales point in Mexico, the sale of medication through this e-commerce platform is not possible now.


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Photo by:   Annie Spratt, Unsplash

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