With the aim of increasing and speeding up access to medicines and helping to reimagine the logistics in the pharmaceutical industry, Novartis, in partnership with RD – RaiaDrogasil, conducted, in early November, a drug delivery test using drones.
"The use of drones for drug delivery 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 the woods without residents, according to current legislation.
Still according to Ryzwaniuk, the approximate number of patients currently served 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 understand that a necessary innovation is that it could benefit thousands of residents of remote areas of the country.
After analysis of 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 route changes or operation cancellation being possible. 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 the lives of consumers and their shopping experiences. Our focus is to put customers at the heart of the 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 in this path. A working group of Novartis legal and supply professionals and other professionals from partner companies has the task of evaluating and proposing possible actions to ensure the viability of this type of large-scale initiative. The test proves the possibility and provokes the players and Brazilian society to have a deeper debate about the opportunities and challenges of unmanned delivery, the so-called drones.
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