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Department of Veterans Affairs: No Expected Holiday Delays to Prescription Service

The Department of Veterans Affairs pledged on its official site to ensure prescription drugs delivered by mail reach VA enrollees on time during the holiday season.

VA.gov advises, “If you get your VA prescriptions through the mail, you can rest assured this holiday season: VA is working hard to make sure you continue to get your medications on time, even if there’s an increase in mail volume.”

VA Prescription By Mail Services

The quote above is in reference to the VA Mail Order Pharmacy, which started in the 1950s and is thought to be the first mail-order prescription service.

Today, the VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy or CMOP is responsible for most prescriptions issued by the Veteran Health Administration. There are more than 470 prescriptions mailed each day through this agency.

The VA team operating CMOP is tasked with monitoring delivery times to ensure prescriptions reach veterans and families on a timely basis. VA.gov claims the team. “continually monitors the time it takes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages to Veterans.”

In the 2024 holiday season, the VA took a proactive approach, announcing its official site stating no mail delays that year were expected. VA also promised, “if slowdowns do occur, we have backup plans in place.”

How To Avoid Delays In Getting Prescription Refills By Mail

VA.gov advises patients to request prescription drug refills by mail no later than 10 days before their current supply runs out.

What Happens If There Is A Delay

In cases where the CMOP team does anticipate a delay in getting prescriptions to a recipient by mail, there are options, including the VA medical center expediting the prescription process, plus working with USPS and the patient’s nearest medical center to ensure timely delivery.

In cases where that’s insufficient, the VA also pledges to use expedited shipping via FedEx Ground or overnight delivery.

VA: Mailed Prescriptions “Given Priority”

VA.gov says those worried about their prescriptions being lost in the United States mail system should know, “If you’re concerned that your prescriptions won’t be given priority over other packages by the Postal Service, rest assured that the Postal Service federal account manager has confirmed that this is not the case.”

While that’s no legal guarantee, it indicates that the VA is aware of potential issues in this area and has taken steps to protect its beneficiaries.

Holiday Post Office Closures

For holiday season mail, those looking for prescriptions by mail should expect no prescription drug deliveries via U.S. Postal Mail on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. In years when these holidays fall on weekends when post offices are typically closed, there may be no plans to offer restricted hours the day prior, but each facility may have a different schedule.

Related: Military Benefits Guide

About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.