San Francisco-based Zipline won FAA Part 135 air carrier certification for the long-range flights earlier this month. The company flew its first commercial deliveries on June 22 with an initial 16-nautical-mile flight.
The flights starting today are out of Zipline’s hub in Kannapolis, North Carolina, on behalf of Cardinal Health as well as Novant Health and Magellan Rx Management.
Zipline said the hub can serve customers within a 7,800-square-mile area in as little as 15 minutes, with 98 percent lower emissions than traditional delivery options.
“We imagine a future in which goods are transported nearly instantly,” Zipline founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo said in a news release. “Together with Novant Health, Magellan Rx Management, and Cardinal Health, we are making it a reality. In the process, we are setting the bar for care and convenience with instant logistics.”
The Cardinal Health flights to Cannon Pharmacy Main are meant to make it easier for patients to access the products they need.
“We’re committed to working diligently to help ensure our healthcare provider customers have access to the right medication at the right time for their patients, and an effective distribution strategy is required to make this happen,” Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Operations SVP Josh Dolan said in the news release. “Through our work with Zipline, we are able to expand our world-class distribution services with innovative delivery methods that will help our customers meet their patients’ evolving needs — now and in the future.”
Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio) is the eighth-largest medtech company in the world, according to Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s latest Big 100 ranking by revenue.
The Zipline flights make Phoenix-based Magellan Rx Management the only national pharmacy benefits manager delivering prescription medications directly to patients at home using drones.
At Novant Health, Zipline will deliver specialty medications to the health care network’s patients. Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Novant and Zipline started the first emergency drone logistics operation for pandemic response in 2020 with contactless deliveries of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment.