How Are the U.S. Postal Service’s Woes Affecting Prescriptions?

August 18, 2020

There is increasing concern among physicians and policymakers that uncertainty concerning the fate of the U.S. Postal Service could delay deliveries of prescription drugs. Approximately 4.9% of prescriptions were delivered through the mail before the pandemic hit in 2019. According to Vanderbilt University health policy professor Stacie Dusetzina, “We know that mail order use has gone up dramatically with COVID-19, too, as people are hoping to avoid going into pharmacies to fill medications.”

Compared to March of last year, mail-order prescriptions have surged 21 percent. “Mail-order prescriptions can be particularly important in rural areas where the local pharmacy may be a long distance away,” wrote the American College of Physicians. Veterans may also feel the fallout since the Veteran’s Administration fills up to 80% of its prescriptions by mail.

In the meantime, senate and house lawmakers announced they would investigate how changes to the postal system will affect prescription drug deliveries. Although President Trump has criticized the USPS in the past for being inefficient, he is singing a different tune now as evinced by his latest tweet: “SAVE THE POST OFFICE” Read more here.

(Source: Owemohle S., “Postal service pressure turns to prescriptions”. Politico Prescription Pulse, August 18, 2020

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