I-TEAM: Many deliveries backlogged, but what about those needing meds?

Middleburg woman details frustrating experience with UPS

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Most insurance companies require medications to be mailed and delivered only with the patient’s signature.

But is there anything that can be done to ensure people are receiving their medications?

UPS handles shipping for many of the nation’s biggest retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Macy's. 

But a Middleburg woman told the I-TEAM that she's not waiting on a new laptop or a fancy Christmas gift in the mail. She desperately needs her medication after a recent medical diagnosis. 

"(A worker) told me, ‘We are really backlogged,’ and that I will not be getting this package,” Aronda Dean said. “And I said, ‘This is medication.’ And she said, ‘We have a lot of people who aren't getting their deliveries on time.’"

Dean said she tracked her package on UPS's website Wednesday. It showed an on-time delivery for arrival, up until late Wednesday night.

"I started calling them (and) they said it would (be) there at 10 o’clock,” Dean said. “And then I checked the status, and it said it's for tomorrow, and I call them and they say it wasn't sent out for delivery today."

Dean is not alone. The I-TEAM received multiple complaints from customers, and has now been following stories about lost or delayed packages for more than a week -- such as the delayed delivery of live exotic animals that resulted in their deaths.

Just Wednesday, UPS drivers said off camera that they are overwhelmed by this year’s demand. 

A UPS spokesman said they've delivered 750 million packages since Thanksgiving Day, and workers are expected to deliver 40 million more packages than last year. 

Dean said she knows she's not alone in her immediate need for her medication, and she worries about the elderly, who sometimes don't have the energy to track down such items.

"And I know there’s a lot of elderly people, and they need to have their medications filled,” Dean said. “I can never get someone to talk to me. … I feel sorry for people that can't go."

Dean said she has asked UPS workers to hold her package at the facility for her to pick up the next day, so she can drive there herself to get it.

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