CSG Associates in Action: CVS Health begins drone delivery in Florida

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states.

In an effort to keep those in high risk populations healthy and safe, this month CVS Health, a CSG Leadership Circle member, will begin offering drone delivery of medications in partnership with UPS to The Villages in central Florida under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules. The rules allow the authority to operate through the pandemic and explore ongoing needs as they arise after that period. The operation could expand to include deliveries from two additional CVS pharmacies in the area.

Best known as a popular retirement community for older Americans, The Villages is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sumter County, Florida. It shares its name with a broader master-planned age-restricted community that spreads into portions of Lake and Marion counties. According to The Villages Daily Sun, between 2010 and 2017, The Villages was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S., growing 32.8%, from 94,279 in 2010 to 125,165 in 2017. Today, it has 135,000 residents.

Recognizing the community is home to elderly and older residents, The Villages took on stringent measures early in the health crisis including the installation an innovative testing site for residents. In turn, The Villages has had a low infection rate.

The first flights will be less than one half mile and be delivered to a location near the retirement community. Initially, a ground vehicle will complete the delivery to the resident’s door. Drone transport offers a fast delivery option for medicines that are time-sensitive, while supporting social-distancing efforts and employing strategies to keep older Americans at home in order to limit any potential exposure to the virus.

Florida state Rep. Brett Hage, who has The Villages in his district, said, “I am impressed with The Villages strategic plan, the ability to adjust and pivot, yet being mindful of our citizens’ health, safety and well-being, as their top priority. We have navigated our way through this health crisis using common sense and common courtesy. We will remain steadfast and resilient as we re-start this community.”

“Now more than ever, it’s important that our customers have access to their prescriptions,” said Jon Roberts, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CVS Health. “In addition to our in-store pickup, free delivery services and drive through pickup, this drone delivery service provides an innovative method to reach some of our customers.”

For more information, please visit cvshealth.com.