With the objective of increasing and speeding up access to medicines and helping to reimagine logistics in the pharmaceutical industry, Novartis, in partnership with RD – RaiaDrogasil, conducted, in early November, a drug delivery test using drones.
"The use of drug delivery drones ushers in a new era for drug logistics, as it enables increased access in remote areas and faster delivery, with a possible reduction in environmental impact and delivery time,"
Jorge Ryzwaniuk, Supply Chain Head of Novartis Brazil
The drone model selected by the two companies was DJI Matrice 200 and the chosen location was the city of Embu das Artes (SP), where the Novartis and RD – RaiaDrogasil drug distribution centers are located. After authorization from the Airspace Control Department (DECEA), the flight took place in a forest area without residents, according to current legislation.
According to Ryzwaniuk, the approximate number of patients currently treated by Novartis is 9 million. He explains that the company knows that the use of drones for drug distribution is not yet regulated in Brazilian law, but they understand that it is a necessary innovation and could benefit thousands of residents of remote areas of the country.
After analyzing the weather conditions, the drone traveled a distance of almost 2 km, at a speed of 30 km / h in almost 5 minutes, and its track monitored in real time, with changes of routes or cancellation of operation being possible to be performed. at any time, thus ensuring the safety of the test.
"RD is a company connected with the changes taking place in the pharmaceutical industry and, alongside Novartis, always thinks of everything that can improve consumer life and shopping experiences. Our focus is to put customers at the center of business, so we see a lot of synergy with this project "
Erivelton Marcos de Oliveira, RD Logistics Director
The test, although successful, is still the first step on this path. A working group of Novartis legal and supply professionals and other professionals from partner companies has the mission to evaluate and propose possible actions to ensure the viability of this type of large-scale initiative. This test proves the possibility and provokes Brazilian players and society to have a deeper debate about the opportunities and challenges of unmanned vehicle deliveries, the so-called drones.
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