February 13, 2013
(Washington, DC) — In a letter to United States Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe, 88 members of the United States House of Representatives urged the Post Office to continue delivering medications to all Americans six days a week.
In the letter sent prior to today’s Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee hearing, the 88 Representatives touted the benefits of mail-service pharmacies:
“In our home districts, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, VA and other beneficiaries currently rely on low cost delivery of prescription drugs to their doorstep. 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. 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.
“This growing population of home delivery prescription beneficiaries is not only good for the USPS and patients, but our government as a whole. According to the Department of Defense, the government saved $33 million in FY2010 alone through use of TRICARE’s Home Delivery Program. Home delivery is the most cost effective way of filling prescriptions for TRICARE beneficiaries, and saves Medicare and Medicaid money as well. This integral part of the USPS’s services should not be changed in your reform and restructuring of the federal postal service.”
“About 1-in-6 prescriptions that are home delivered arrive on Saturday. 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,” said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt.
Ninety-day home delivery is popular with patients because it is less expensive and more convenient than waiting in line at the drugstore each month. With mail-service pharmacies, patients can get private counseling over the phone from trained pharmacists seven days a week, 24-hours a day.
According to a recent survey, eight-out-of-ten small businesses want to be able to continue offering discounts that encourage employees to use the more affordable mail-service pharmacy option and consumers who use home delivery are strongly satisfied with it. In addition to greater convenience, mail-service pharmacies can save Medicare seniors, employers, unions, government employee plans, consumers, and other commercial-sector payers $46.6 billion in prescription drug costs over the next ten years, according to a recent study. Compared to brick-and-mortar drugstores, mail-service pharmacies offer deeper discounts and reduced copays.
- Mail-service pharmacies save Medicare seniors, consumers and payers an average of 15% on 90-day prescriptions compared to 90-day prescriptions obtained at brick-and-mortar drugstores.
- Mail-service pharmacies save Medicare seniors, consumers and payers an average of $22 per 90-day prescription compared to the same prescription obtained at a drugstore.
Signees of the letter include: Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), Elijah Cummings (MD-07), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Stephen Lynch (MA-09), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Henry Waxman (CA-33), John Lewis (GA-5), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Dan Kildee (MI-5), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Janice Hahn (CA-44), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Pete Gallego (TX-23), James McGovern (MA-02), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Ron Barber (AZ-02), Timothy Walz (MN-1), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Sam Farr (CA-20), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Joseph Kennedy (MA-04), Sander Levin (MI-9), Chelllie Pingree (ME-01), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Jared Polis (CO-02), Mark Takano (CA-41), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Donna M Christensen (Virgin Islands), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Dave Loebsack (IA-2), Carol Shea Porter (NH-1), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Mike Honda (CA-17), William Enyart (IL-12), Michael Michaud (ME-2), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Peter DeFazio (OR-4), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Tom Latham (IA-5), Lois Capps (CA-24), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Michael G. Fitzpatrick (PA-08), C.W. Bill Young (FL-13), Scott Peters (CA-52), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (AS), Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Gene Green (TX-29), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Nick Rahall (WV-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), John Shimkus (IL-15), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Elizabeth Esty (CT-5), Kevin Yoder (KS-03), Rich Nugent (FL-11), Jim McDermott (WA-07), John Carter (TX-31), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Donna Edwards (MD-04), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Ami Bera (CA-07), Adam Schiff (CA-28).