- MedExpress plans to use drones to deliver the medicines nationwide
- The service will be particularly useful for people living in remote areas
- A trial saw the emergency contraception pill successfully delivered in Kent
An online pharmacy is planning to use drones to deliver the morning-after pill and Viagra following successful UK trials.
MedExpress are in talks with watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to dispatch medicines and the contraceptive nationwide.
The company says the service will be particularly useful for people living in remote areas.
They have offered assurances that the products will be delivered discreetly with purchases details blacked out on sales records and bank accounts.
The morning after pill was delivered safely during a trial in Broadstairs, Kent, under controlled conditions (file photo)
One challenge MedExpress faces is delivering medication safely and at temperatures that do not interfere with the drugs’ effectiveness.
But in the trial, the emergency contraception pill was carried at below 25C by a drone and successfully delivered in Broadstairs, Kent.
Managing director Dwayne D’Souza said regulatory approval may take some time but the company hopes to launch the service as soon as possible.
Viagra and the emergency contraception pill could be delivered by drone in the UK (file photo)
He said: ‘The rise of artificial intelligence, along with autonomous delivery and other sophisticated technologies, provides ample opportunity for businesses such as MedExpress to trial a range of convenient customer service options.’
‘We were very pleased with how the trial went. We’re considering making drone delivery part of our future service and are in talks to work out how we can do this.
‘We’re confident our customers will love the idea.’
A drone-based delivery system is currently in development by Amazon.com. It made its first commercial delivery using a drone, in the UK last December.
The package arrived safely at its destination in Cambridge, 13 minutes after being ordered.
HIGH STREET RETAILER SLASHES PRICE OF MORNING-AFTER PILL
A high street retailer has become the first to launch a generic emergency hormonal contraceptive pill (EHC) at half the price of branded versions – prompting concerns it could result in a rise in ectopic pregnancies and STDs.
The morning-after pill set women back as much as £31.60 – up to five times more compared to other areas of Europe.
That was until Superdrug, followed by Tesco, dropped their prices to just over £13. However, Boots has not followed suit and said it did not want to encourage over-use.
Ezinelle contains the same active ingredient as popular brand Levonelle and is said to be just as effective.
Health charities have urged other big retailers to drop their prices to make it more accessible.
But others warn the move could lead to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and ectopic pregnancies.