Millions with Diabetes and Other Chronic Conditions at Risk as Postal Delays Threaten Medication Deliveries
ADA Leads 20 National Patient Advocate Groups Urging USPS Delivery Improvements
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA), along with 19 other national health groups, today called on the U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to reinstate the organization’s delivery standards as well as 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 American Diabetes Association.
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
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
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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).