USPS delays could keep quarter of older Americans from getting prescription medication

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — United States Postal Service delays are in the spotlight right now. On that note, a poll from the University of Michigan is illustrating just how important the mail system is for many Americans’ medicinal needs. Researchers say USPS delays could prevent millions of people from getting their prescription medications on time.

Close to one in four Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 attain at least one medication via the mail. Moreover, that percentage increases to 29% once the field is narrowed to only Americans taking at least one prescription medication.

All in all, 17% of respondents within that age group say they receive all their medicines through the mail. Also, 35% of respondents who receive medication in the mail say this arrangement is actually a requirement mandated by their insurance provider.

These numbers, while no doubt still very relevant today, were originally collected in 2017 as part of the National Poll on Healthy AgingHowever, this portion of the poll had never been released up until now. It’s important to note that respondents did not specify which mail delivery service (UPS, USPS, etc) they use to order medicine.

Circling back to Americans who are required to order medication through the mail, 53% say doing so helps them save money. Another 42% feel it’s simply more convenient. Meanwhile, close to 30% say they like ordering medicine via the mail because they’ve been taking their medications for a long time and don’t need to discuss anything with a pharmacist. Another 29% say their doctor automatically sets up medication deliveries through the mail for them.

The importance of the USPS has been called into question as of late. But these stats certainly suggest that the U.S. mail system makes life easier for many among us — at least when it comes to medicine.

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