Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Policy changes implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have resulted in "significant delays" in delivering prescriptions through the mail, two Senate Democrats said in a report released Wednesday.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., released a report based on their inquiry to the Postal Service's board of governors that found the average delivery times for mail order prescription drugs have increased 18% to 32% during DeJoy's tenure.
"In general, this meant that deliveries that would typically take 2-3 days were instead taking 3-4 days. Some of these delays appear to be even longer" the senators wrote in a letter accompanying the report.
As part of the investigation, Warren and Casey said they sent letters to Cigna/Express Scripts, CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, UnitedHealth/Optum and Humana seeking data about their experience with mail-order prescriptions filled in 2020.
Of the five companies, only one said it had not experienced any unusual delays in deliveries, but the senators noted it was "the one respondent that reported being more reliant on private-sector carriers than on USPS.
Warren and Casey also said the delays present risks to patients, particularly the elderly, as the report noted that more than 170 million prescriptions were filled by mail in the United States in 2019 and there has been a 205% increase through July 2020.
"For the nearly half of adults in the United States with a chronic condition, timely delivery of prescription medication can have a direct impact on their health outcomes," one company said, according to the report.
The senators wrote that the delays are "unacceptable outcomes under any circumstances" and called on the USPS Board of Governors to intervene.
"It is critical that you act immediately to address the delay in delivery of prescription drugs and reverse any and all actions taken during Postmaster General DeJoy's tenure that degrade our delay postal operations and delivery of the mail," they wrote.
"The findings of our investigation reveal that your failure to fix the service delays caused by Postmaster General DeJoy represent an ongoing public health threat and a dereliction of your responsibility to the American people."