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United States Postal Service (USPS) Slowdowns and Mail-Order Medication Delivery Delays

United States Postal Service

September 1, 2020

Recent USPS policy changes have resulted in mail delivery slowdowns across the country, including worrisome delays to mail-order medication delivery. While USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced that no additional policy changes will be rolled out prior to November 4, 2020, he has not committed to rolling back changes that are already in effect. Congress has taken up the issue, with the House of Representatives passing a bill rescinding all new policies and providing USPS with additional funds. However, the Senate must still take up and pass the USPS bill before it can become law. Additionally, the USPS Inspector General, which functions as the agency’s watchdog, has launched an investigation into the USPS policy changes.

Working within this relatively unusual political landscape, ASHP has calibrated its policy response to focus policymaker attention on addressing the apolitical medication issue without getting caught up in highly sensitive political issues (e.g., mail-in voting).

ASHP is taking the following actions:

  • Agency Communication: ASHP is sending a letter to USPS Inspector General highlighting the real-world consequences of the USPS policy changes, including the risk delays in mail-order medication delivery pose to patients. The letter has been opened to state associations sign-on as well.

  • Grassroots Letter: ASHP has created a template letter for members to share their mail-order medication delay experiences—either personal or institutional—with their Senators. Because the House of Representatives has already passed a bill, the advocacy focus in on the Senate.

  • Podcast: ASHP recorded a short podcast that breaks down the USPS changes and discusses the impact on medication delivery, federal policymakers’ response, and ASHP’s next steps on advocacy.

If you have information about your mail order experiences that we could share with USPS or legislators, or any questions or concerns, please send it to Jillanne Schulte Wall, ASHP Senior Director for Health & Regulatory Policy, at [email protected].