Canada sees first ‘BVLOS’ drug flight in Canada Post partnership

Canada’s first-ever “beyond visual line-of-sight” (BVLOS) flight carrying pharmaceuticals took place this August in a partnership between Canada Post, London Drugs and InDro Robotics.

Canada Post and InDro Robotics were chosen in 2018 to participate in Transport Canada’s BVLOS Drone Trials, which focused on testing BVLOS capabilities over open water as well as the delivery of prescription medications to remote areas.

“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 helipads,” said Philip Reece, CEO of InDro Robotics.

The Aug. 19 trial included three parts: first was the delivery of an epinephrine auto-injector known as the “EpiPen” and naloxone nasal spray known as Narcan, both of which left London Drugs’ mobile facility in Duncan, B.C., before reaching the local Country Grocer store on Salt Spring Island, where it was then sent on a “direct, pin-pointed delivery” to a patient’s home.

“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,” said Chris Chiew, general manager of London Drugs’ pharmacy department.

“In the very near future, we will be able to provide delivery of prescription medications to an abundance of areas not accessible by vehicle.”

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