Ada County Markets Drugs For CVS

In what can only be described as one of the most brilliant marketing schemes in recent memory, CVS Caremark has convinced county government to distribute prescription discount cards on its behalf.

At first blush it sounds great: Ada County Residents “qualify” for an average 22% savings on prescription drugs. Truth is, residents of ANY county in the USA qualify. No registration, no forms, just go to the county and they will hand out a free card that will get you the discount. It is NO DIFFERENT than passing out discount coupons for pizza!

CVS has snookered the Ada County Commishes to sell drugs under the auspicies of the “National Association of Counties”–remember their Hawaiian vacation debacle a few years ago? This retailer has been able to get local governments to do its marketing and at little cost.

A simple sales promotion by a retailer has the air of “officialdom” when it is endorsed and promoted in press releases by local government. Not to mention it is offering “savings” on the hot button commodity of MEDICINE.

We did a little on-line research and find ANYONE can get the card on the internet and there is no need whatsoever for county involvement. Local hospitals have agreed to distribute the cards, after being approached by county officials. Even the Ada County Assessor will distribute the cards on behalf of CVS.

The Ada Commishes and the NAC get a GUARDIAN “Dope Award” for local government and congratulations to the CVS marketing team for sucking them in. Another well intended, but ill conceived act of government.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. You can presumably use the cards at any pharmacy, not just CVS, so please calm down… Halliburton this ain’t.

    As for whether Ada County is doing CVS’ marketing for them… debatable. Yes, CVS gets some good publicity from press releases like the one today in the Statesman by being named as the co-sponsor of the cards. But these cards are designed to specifically help out folks with poor or no prescription insurance coverage… CVS is doing a good thing, in my opinion. No harm done here.

  2. Brian is correct. Complete info available at

    When I did a zip code search (83702, CVS did not even show in the first 10 results. You can even print a card online. Kudos to Ada County for helping educate consumers what is available.

  3. Viva Viagra!
    This is perfect for Ada County and City wonks. Now you can get a discount on Viagra. We need this, after all this is the town that can’t get it up. I’m talking about the big hole downtown.
    Who needs to fix the health-care crisis when the benevolent Ada County deciders kick stuff like this down to the proles. This is proof that the free market can control medical expenses for everyone. Yay for free market geniuses.

  4. Guardian: So, you did a little checking and found …
    Well, I’ll bet you a dinner that the county officials didn’t do a little checking. Someone approached them with this idea, and they reacted: Wow, something that will help residents and won’t cost us money; we’ll be heroes.
    County folks, correct me if I’m wrong about you not investigating before jumping aboard.

  5. Tom Anderson
    May 28, 2009, 7:23 am

    As the economy tanks, marketing efforts become more invasive and unavoidable. Casual social contacts of mine are spamming my email with ‘special offers’ on an increasing basis.

    Welcome to the world of Peak Oil production and its dramatic effects on our withering industrial economy!

  6. Canyon County has done this for a while and saved quite a bit of money on their indigent health care prescription costs.

    Hopefully Ada County will also which means less money from the taxpayers. That’s a good thing right?

    EDITOR NOTE–It has no connection at all with indigent health care. If it did, I would certainly agree. It is simply no different than a food chain “loyalty card.” You can get one without having to visit ANY distributor. Would the county or ACHD offer pizza coupons or gas coupons for convenience store chains so low income workers can save on “food and trips to the doctor?” Perhaps they should. This is NOT a county program, it is a marketing scheme and a darn good one!

  7. best prices on meds are to be found at costco, just walk in no membership needed…

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