NMA statement regarding Postal delays in Prescription delivery
Friday, August 21, 2020
The National Medical Association calls for an immediate action that stops delays in the delivery of prescription medicines and medical supplies by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as currently reported.
The USPS is a major supplier of prescription medications and medical supplies in this country. In 2019, 171,292,623 prescriptions were delivered by USPS according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. As with many large healthcare organizations, the US Veterans Affairs sends 80% of veterans prescriptions via the Postal Service which amounted to 125.2 million prescriptions in Fiscal Year 2019 as cited in the Congressional Letter to VA Affairs Secretary and the Postmaster General.
Delays in receipt of prescription medications can lead to adverse effects and deterioration in health due to absence of needed therapeutics. This can result in preventable emergency department and inpatient admissions and unnecessary pain and suffering. These effects are magnified by the impact that COVID-19 has exerted on access to care and increasing hardship in America.
The National Medical Association supports the Delivering for America Act introduced 8/11/20 that prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place on 1/1/2020, until the last day of the COVID-19 public health emergency or 1/1/2021, whichever is later.
Leon McDougle, MD, MPH
National Medical Association 121st President