Official Statement

American Diabetes Association® regarding proposed changes at the U.S. Postal Service and the impact on millions of people with diabetes

August 24, 2020 | Arlington, VA

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) plays a vital role in the lives of all Americans and, in the context of the current pandemic, this role is now more pronounced than ever. This is particularly true for the 34 million Americans with diabetes, because so many of them rely on the U.S. mail for shipments of medication and medical supplies. Put simply, delays in mail shipments of medications put these lives at risk.

"Even greater numbers of people with diabetes – who are at uniquely high risk for the worst COVID-19 outcomes – are having their medications mailed to them to ensure they limit unnecessary social interactions, including trips to the pharmacy,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO for the ADA. “This increased reliance on medication shipments during the health pandemic is critical due to what we know thus far about the correlation between unmanaged diabetes being the greatest risk for dangerous COVID-19 complications. Additionally, delivery delays of insulin significantly impact the safety and effectiveness of those medications for 7 million Americans who require insulin to live, since the drugs are highly temperature-sensitive.”

Any changes to the structure of U.S. Mail delivery through the USPS must take the vital considerations of people with diabetes – as well as other conditions that require medication shipped to them – fully into account. To reorganize the USPS in ways that will create delays or uncertainty in mail deliveries puts these lives and many others at great and unnecessary risk. While we appreciate the Postal Commissioner’s recent commitment to halt changes that were put into effect beginning earlier this summer, more must be done to ensure the safe and timely delivery of critical medications, including by restoring altered operations and returning removed equipment, allowing more flexible delivery routes, and reinstating delivery standards that ensure all mail is delivered on time. Millions of lives are counting on it.

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).