Updated: Nov 7
The US Postal Service plays an important role in the daily lives of all Americans, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. For Americans who receive prescription medication through the mail, the US Postal Service is a critical lifeline.
Administration officials including the recently appointed Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, have threatened to limit support for the U.S. Postal Service. Reducing or cutting the US Postal Service budget rather than engaging to support the men and women who are on the front lines every day during this historic pandemic, could result in fatalities for many Americans whose prescriptions are a daily necessity.
A recent Senate report details the operational changes that have been reported by whistle blowers, and provides evidence that USPS delivery times have increased between 18 percent and 32 percent since spring, when DeJoy was tapped to lead the office.
Patients Depended on USPS
The US Postal Service is unique in their mandate to deliver to every American household. There is no other entity with the infrastructure in place to do so. The ability to receive mail, information and packages delivered to their door is a vital service to all Americans.
More than 13 percent of U.S. patients have received treatment through the mail. In 2019 the Postal Service delivered 1.2 billion prescriptions, including close to 100 percent of the prescriptions from the VA, according to the American Postal Workers Union.
American dependence on the Postal Service for delivery of prescription drugs has increased significantly just this year. During the last week of March 2020, mail-order prescriptions grew 21% over the previous year, according to data from SunTrust.
Truth Behind the Cuts
Dave Allender was 1 of 10 people whose shipments from his provider were messed up on a single day. He is among the many Mainers who’ve seen medications, paychecks or bills delayed over the past few months after the USPS operational changes.
Robert Thullner, 76, is a retired farmer and rancher. He’s relied on the postal service for his business and personal mail for years. Now, he and his wife also use the postal service for delivery of medication.“Absolutely this is more of a real threat,” Thullner said. “We’re fighting for our life in rural areas.”
“We cannot lose sight of the impact these delays will have on all our mail and our medications, now and after Election Day,” says Emergency physician, Max Cooper. “In severe cases, patients could experience diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be deadly. Diabetics aren’t the only ones affected when the mail is late. Patients who don’t get their heart medications on time could potentially suffer a stroke. Cancer patients who miss out on oral chemotherapy could see their cancer return with a vengeance.”
CPPI Taking a Stand
Now is the time to rally behind and support those on the front lines of the fight against this tragic pandemic. US postal service workers have always been heroes to the American people. Their service has rarely been tested like it has during this pandemic. We urge Congress and the Administration to move with all haste to ensure that US Postal Service workers have the support and protection they need to continue serving the American public.