WASHINGTON — More than seven dozen members of the House of Representatives are urging the U.S. Postal Service to continue delivering medications to all Americans six days a week.
In a letter to U.S. postmaster general and CEO Patrick Donahoe, a bipartisan group of 88 representatives pointed out that many Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, Veterans Administration and other beneficiaries rely on mail-order delivery of medications.
"Whether it is a homebound senior that cannot walk or drive to the pharmacy, or a veteran who lives in a rural area with limited access to the prescription drugs they need, all of these home-delivery beneficiaries cannot afford to go without their medications for days," the representatives wrote. "Nor should they have to obtain their medications through more costly delivery methods, which would only draw business away from the USPS and threaten its long-term financial stability."
The letter was sent amid plans that the Postal Service announced to halt Saturday delivery of mail. Last year, the agency racked up losses of nearly $16 billion, and the reduced delivery plan, set to take effect in August, is expected to save about $2 billion annually.
"About 1-in-6 prescriptions that are home-delivered arrive on Saturday," said president and CEO Mark Merritt of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a lobbying group for the pharmacy benefit management industry, which makes extensive use of mail-order pharmacy to deliver medications to patients. "Consumers count on getting their prescriptions at the right time and often can't wait an additional two days, or even three days in the case of federal holidays that fall on a Monday."