Amazon Pharmacy has introduced a new prescription medication delivery service via drone for eligible customers in College Station, Texas. This expansion of services allows customers to access over 500 medications, including treatments for common conditions like asthma and the flu, and have them delivered to their doorstep by a drone in less than 60 minutes, all at no additional cost, according to Amazon’s recent blog post.
Amazon Pharmacy, a full-service online pharmacy, was launched in 2020 following Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack in 2018. The company has been working to attract Amazon Pharmacy customers by offering prescription perks and savings benefits for Prime members this year.
Amazon stated that its drones are equipped with cameras that assist in identifying objects such as people and animals. These drones fly at altitudes ranging from 40 meters to 120 meters in airspace with “minimal obstacles.”
Here’s how the drone delivery process works: Once a drone determines that the delivery space is clear and safe, it descends and releases the package containing the customer’s prescription medication. However, if the drone detects obstacles or hazards in the delivery area, it will return to the Amazon fulfillment center and attempt the delivery at a later time.
To be eligible for drone delivery, customers in College Station, Texas, will need to sign up for the Prime Air service and complete a yard survey.
Amazon has been developing its drone delivery capabilities for several years, though it has faced challenges along the way. In August, the company lost two key executives who were instrumental in its drone delivery operations, and its Prime Air unit experienced significant employee layoffs as part of CEO Andy Jassy’s broader restructuring efforts.
Despite these internal changes, Amazon highlighted that it has successfully delivered “hundreds of household items” to consumers in College Station since late last year, demonstrating the progress of its drone delivery program.