Medical drone deliveries: a viable option for the NHS?

In this episode of The PJ Pod, we speak to experts who are testing the feasibility of using drones to deliver NHS medicines.

Drones are already being used to transport medicines in several countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Rwanda, but what’s the story in the UK, where the road infrastructure is good and the airspace is small and busy? Is there a need for medical drone deliveries? Are they safe and would they be a viable option for the NHS?

These are questions that senior features editor Dawn Connelly investigates in this episode of The PJ Pod. We hear from the experts behind several projects across the UK as they test the feasibility of using drones to deliver NHS medicines.

Thank you to Paul Royall, senior lecturer in pharmaceutics at King’s College London; Arthur Mendez, a research and development engineer with drone development company HeroTech8; Mark Knowles, head of production at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Christopher Law, co-founder of healthcare drone logistics start-up Apian; Jamie Hogg, clinical lead for the CAELUS project for the north of Scotland; and Anthony McDavitt, director of pharmacy for NHS Shetland.

This episode was produced by Geoff Marsh, with editorial support from executive editor Carolyn Wickware.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2024, Vol 313, No 7987;313(7987)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.322836

1 comment

  • Jennifer Smith

    See also: - drone deliveries need to be seen in the context of the delivery of the whole healthcare episode. You may be able to cut time-to-delivery, but that is often irrelevant if you need to schedule it a week in advance to get the rest of the care episode (bed, staff, etc) organised. Then, in most cases, you can send your medication by the usual van - or a bicycle.


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