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This Stressful USPS Change Could Affect Your Medication Availability

Moving forward, certain packages will take longer to be delivered.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

Though physically entering a pharmacy isn't the only way to get your medication these days, it may be the best option starting on Oct. 1. If you get your medication in the mail, you may see delivery slowdowns as a result of new service standards being implemented by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

First-class mail, periodicals, and other items traveling long distances will now take up to five days to be delivered instead of two to three. "Current [first-class mail] 3-day volume will be subject to a 3-, 4-, or 5-day standard depending on the distance between origin and destination," a fact sheet posted by the USPS says.

Related: This Medication Not Likely to Help Your Insomnia, Study Finds

The change is part of the USPS' 10-year "Delivering for America" plan, which includes cost-cutting measures to reduce the agency's debt. Moving forward, the USPS will rely less on air transportation and more on ground transportation.

Patients will be on the lookout for any impact that these changes could have on deliveries of life-saving medications. Last summer, many Americans reported delays in delivery times after USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy instituted service cuts. At the time, Americans shared their stories about service disruptions on social media using the hashtag #USPSMeds. (Following outcry over the slowdowns, the changes were later suspended until after the 2020 election.)

The USPS advises Americans to plan ahead to ensure that packages are delivered on time. However, this may not be an option for patients navigating issues with insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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