Thursday, September 10, 2020

Urgent Alert: Significant and increasing delays in the delivery of Prescription Medication Shipments


ALERT: If you get essential medication mailed from a pharmacy, please consider  having your prescriptions transferred to a physical pharmacy to ensure getting them on time! 

We have all heard about the changes to the post office and how they would affect the election in November. I had friends who work at the postal office tell me how the large sorting machines had been removed, and how the mail boxes pulled from the streets were piled up with our mail still in them!  Yet, because "Politics" are involved in the narrative I didn't want to automatically fall into the world of political blame when a check I mailed to my sister 3 weeks ago - who lives 20 minutes away from me - still has not arrived. Albeit frustrating, I decided to treat it as an isolated incident that would probably not occur again, since missing mail didn't just begin with Trumps appointment of the latest U.S. Postmaster General. 

Despite my desire to keep an open mind and not rush to judgement, the realities of the postal service dismantling are real, and sadly it's clear to me that politics have once again taken priority over people. Slow or missing mail is not just inconvenient but dangerous and potentially deadly as the missing and delayed mail now includes my son's vital prescription medications. In his case some of the medications must be administered on time to avoid immediate negative consequences. Something all families who have children on seizure and ASD drugs can attest to. 

 Anyone who has used mail pharmacy services knows, the process of moving a prescription from mail order to a physical pharmacy is not quick. Prescription transfers typically take several calls to arrange, lot's of time on hold and the transfer is not immediate, further delaying getting medications. This process would be difficult enough in a pre-covid world, but it presents an additional layer of complications forcing those with compromised immune systems to visit a pharmacy in person, risking exposure to Covid or other illnesses.  I keep a back up of all of Nick's medications for emergencies, so the delay did not put him in danger this time. That said, keeping additional medications on hand is not easy because his medications are doled out in 30 day increments and request for additional medication for emergencies are usually ignored. No doubt a cost saving measure implemented by the insurance companies.  I am strong, I do not have a compromised immune system so I am able to go into the pharmacy and get Nicks medications. I know this is not the case for everyone, which makes this a very dangerous situation for many Americans. 

 Today I decided to jump on the internet and see if this problem was isolated; to me, my area, my mail pharmacy and it not! This is happening across the country and there is not reason to believe it will stop soon. This is why I am encouraging all families to avoid putting themselves are risk and begin the process now of moving your medication to a physical pharmacy where you can pick them us.  

Here is an article I found that supports my experience. 

US pharmacies have seen “significant and increasing” delays in the delivery of prescription drugs through the US Postal Service under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, according to a new report from Senate Democrats. Pharmacies questioned for the report rely heavily on the USPS. The investigation was conducted in light of changes DeJoy made this summer that caused widespread delays across the country, though the Postal Service has blamed service disruptions on the coronavirus pandemic. The USPS chief is now facing more scrutiny after the House Oversight Committee announced it's launching an investigation into reports that DeJoy, a Trump donor, reimbursed employees for donating to GOP candidates.


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