Package delivery company and FedEx competitor UPS has teamed up with pharmacy and convenience store chain CVS to offer prescription drug deliveries by drones in the United States. The announcement comes only days after Alphabet’s Wing announced that it is now delivering over-the-counter medication and some convenience goods in a Virginia city via pharmacy and convenience store Walgreens, a competitor to CVS.
The new partnership was announced by UPS on Monday. Under the deal, the company’s UPS Flight Forward subsidiary will develop ‘drone delivery use cases’ alongside CVS for delivering retail products and prescription drugs using drones. The products would be delivered directly to the consumer’s home.
Among other potential ‘use cases,’ UPS says it will deliver the goods from customers’ local CVS retail stores. The business deal follows UPS Flight Forward’s approval as a Drone Airline operator by the FAA late last month.
This won’t be the first time UPS has used drones to deliver goods — the company has previously detailed its work delivering medical samples using drones at the WakeMed Hospital in North Carolina. This will be the first time, however, the company offers drone-based deliveries of retail products directly to consumers.
The drone delivery market is heating up rapidly with multiple players in the game. Alphabet’s Wing has been focused on developing drone delivery of goods to consumers, something it brought to the US this month via FedEx and Walgreens deliveries to customers in a small Virginian city. Amazon has also been developing its own drone-based delivery system, and even pizza company Domino’s has teased shipping a pie by drone.