Canada Post tests medicine deliveries to remote areas

Canada Post worked with London Drugs and InDro Robotics to deliver medicine to Salt Spring Island in what they say is is the first beyond-visual-line-of-sight drone flight.

The Canada Post-led test flight delivered an epipen and naloxone from Duncan, BC, to the Country Grocer store on Salt Spring Island, a flight of 17 kilometres. At the same time it delivered medicine direct to a patient’s home.

“We are proud to have been selected to participate in the first trial of a drone delivery of this kind in Canada,” said Chris Chiew, general manager of pharmacy at London Drugs.

“The ability to provide medications to patients in remote areas that would otherwise have to travel hours to obtain pharmacy service is significant in so many ways. In the very near future we will be able to provide delivery of prescription medications to an abundance of areas not accessible by vehicle.”

The results of the flight are to feed into Transport Canada’s preparations to license these types of flights. There are plans to fly over a range of obstacles from icy water, roads and so forth to isolated, temporary and permanent settlements.

“The delivery of prescription medications by drone to rural areas will be of great advantage to communities across the country including Northern Canada and as well to hospitals in remote communities where drones can land on hospital heli pads,” said InDro Robotics CEO Philip Reece.

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