Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today held a virtual roundtable with United States Postal Service workers in Nevada to thank them for serving Nevada communities as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss procedural changes by the Postmaster General that are impacting mail delivery for Nevadans.
“The dedicated employees of the U.S. Postal Service are a lifeline to communities across Nevada during this health care crisis,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “From securing critical personal protective equipment, to ensuring they have the machines to process the mail effectively, I’m doing all I can to get letter carriers and clerks what they need to do their jobs. Yet in the middle of a pandemic, we’re seeing efforts by this President and Postmaster General to undermine their work – at the potential cost of Nevadans’ health. The recent changes from the Administration impacting sorting and delivery of mail is overworking many of these essential workers who are already facing challenges from our public health emergency.
“I’ve heard from seniors and veterans who have seen delays in receiving their vital prescriptions. A woman in Summerlin wrote me about delays in receiving her vital insulin syringes. This is simply unacceptable, and I’ll continue fighting to make sure that Nevada families, seniors and veterans get their prescriptions and our dedicated postal professionals get the support they need to safely do their jobs.”
Today, Senator Cortez Masto joined in sending a letter demanding answers from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on significant operational changes he directed that have caused serious delays for postal customers in Nevada and across the country.
- The US Postal Service shipped 1.2 billion prescriptions last year alone, according to the National Association of Letter Carriers.
- According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), in 2019 in Nevada, more than 1.2 million prescriptions were filled by mail for more than 85,500 patients.
- Online pharmacy Honeybee Health said about 20% of patients who order delivery via first-class mail have experienced delays so far:
- “The situation is fluid but it’s clear from our customer service team that an usually high number of patients are receiving their medication far later than expected — and in some cases, not receiving it at all. These delays are troubling for everyone, but for patients who rely on medication to live, it’s especially dangerous,” said Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi, co-founder and lead pharmacist for Honeybee Health, which delivers generic medications via USPS.
- Approximately 90 percent of pharmacy packages are shipped to veterans by the Postal Service. Yet we also know that since COVID-19 more Americans are getting their prescriptions by mail than taking a risk on making another trip out to the store.
- Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions mailed by the U.S. Postal Service in the past year have seen delays of nearly 25%, the federal agency recently told a national veteran service organization.
- Medicare and many health plans have reported increases in mail order volume by as high as 28%.