ARLINGTON, VA – The American Diabetes Association® (ADA), along with 19 other national health groups, has called on the U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to reinstate the organization’s delivery standards. The announcement via press release expressed concerns over the effect the current delays could have on 133 million Americans who suffer from chronic disease and may rely on medication deliveries to receive life-saving drugs.
“While we appreciate that you have committed to halt the changes implemented earlier this summer, we believe more should be done to curb any damage to Americans, including those with a medical condition. In order to ensure the safe and timely delivery of critical medications, we urge you to restore altered package operations and reinstate delivery standards to ensure timely delivery of packages. By going further than suspending the changes and returning to the status quo, we can ensure that all Americans get the access to the health supplies they need,” the letter stated.
The U.S. Postal Service plays a critical role in the distribution of prescription medications. Prior to the public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, USPS shipped 1.2 billion prescriptions in 2019 alone. The groups expressed concern that, as a group, Americans with a chronic disease, like cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, and diabetes, are at much higher risk of experiencing the most severe symptoms of COVID-19 and therefore need to rely more heavily on deliveries of medications.
Just this March, mailed prescriptions increased by 21 percent from the previous year. They also pointed to the fact that many biologic drugs require certain environments to remain safe and effective and delays can have a significant effect the drugs’ efficacy. “Any changes to the structure of U.S. Mail delivery through the USPS must take the vital considerations of people with diabetes – as well as other conditions that require medication shipped to them – fully into account,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA.
The signers of the letter, which was led by the American Diabetes Association, include:
• American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)
• American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
• American Diabetes Association
• American Kidney Fund
• American Lung Association
• Arthritis Foundation
• Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists
• Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
• Hemophilia Federation of America
• Immune Deficiency Foundation
• Mended Hearts & Mended Little Heart
• National Alliance on Mental Illness
• National Kidney Foundation
• National Multiple Sclerosis Society
• Pulmonary Hypertension Association
• Rheumatology Nurses Society
• Susan G. Komen
• The AIDS Institute
• WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease