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Staunton’s Allcare Pharmacy part of world’s first insulin delivery by drone.

Staunton's Allcare Pharmacy in Galway was a key partner in the world’s first delivery of diabetes medication onboard a drone.

The Salthill pharmacy dispensed the insulin and glucagon which flew 21 kilometres from Connemara Airport to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands onboard the drone nicknamed “Seagull”.

The delivery, which took just over 15 minutes, was organised by NUIG and supported by the Irish Aviation Authority.

Staunton’s has been serving the Aran Islands for more than two decades and maintains a strong relationship with Dr Marion Broderick, the only GP on the island.

“In an emergency, we can’t afford to allow weather disruptions or inconvenient timetables to prevent our deliveries from reaching those who need them,” says Pauline Staunton Forde, owner and superintendent pharmacist at Staunton’s Allcare Pharmacy.

“We’ve been supporting our patients on the Aran Islands for over 25 years and this advance in technology is a big step towards strengthening our ability to provide even greater care.”

The #DiabetesDrone project was organised by Professor Derek O’Keeffe, Professor of Medical Device Technology at NUI Galway and a Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals. It was initiated out of concern for patients in remote communities who are vulnerable during severe weather events

Deliveries to the island usually take place on non-commercial flights but these can be restricted by external factors. The use of a drone also eliminates the risk to human life during the transportation process.

The return flight was also put to good use with Dr Broderick placing a blood sample onboard for testing on the mainland.