CVS drug prices takes on Wal-Mart's generic drug prices -- with a gimmicky twist

As Wal-Mart has taken the lead in lowering prices on generic drugs among brick-and-mortar retailers, the major drug chains have been slow to respond. Walgreens came around first, and now CVS has finally responded — with a $9.99 price point on a 90-day supply of about 400 different medications starting later this month.

Despite the fact that CVS is a day late and dollar short on reducing prices on generics, its announcement got some surprisingly high-profile media coverage from the likes of the Dallas Morning News and the Los Angeles Times. Why, you might wonder? Because of an added gimmick that won’t do much for healthcare consumers — but that has obviously been good for PR.

The gimmick? To “bundle its program with medical care from its in-store clinics.”

Sounds great — till you realize what this “bundle” consists of. You pay $10 per year for a CVS Health Savings Pass, and you get the lower generic drug price and a 10 percent discount at CVS MinuteClinics.

Ten whole percent? Consider our healthcare crisis solved.

Of course, the tens of millions of Americans who are struggling to pay their prescription drug bills each month know that the problem has never been low-cost generics, but drugs that aren’t among the 400 on the lists of Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger or CVS. The drugs that bust family budgets aren’t on anybody’s list.

And paying a little less for a visit with a nurse in the back corner of a drugstore will do little to ease that pain.

9 Responses to CVS drug prices takes on Wal-Mart’s generic drug prices — with a gimmicky twist

  1. [...] with 177 stores in the southeastern United States, has matched discount price programs at Wal-Mart, CVS, Target, Walgreens and Kroger, announcing that it is now offering customers a 90-day supply of over [...]

  2. Enlightented One says:

    why take drugs anyway…if you just eat right, fruits and vegetables, whole grains.. and herbs, (in many cases) your body will cure naturally over time…eating right has no side effects…. taking drugs has side effects….the truth is, in todays modern impatient times, a symptom should not be covered up by drugs (that are engineered to alter your bodies natural behavior)… but rather a symptom should be “listened to”…and dietary and behavior changes should be made to relieve the symptom naturally….

  3. [...] and by Wal-Mart’s $4 prescription drug plan, which savvier retailers (including finally CVS late last year) have [...]

  4. [...] and by Wal-Mart’s $4 prescription drug plan, which savvier retailers (including finally CVS late last year) have [...]

  5. muchmarcle says:

    CVS just  (6/21/12 6:22 PM) charge me  $98.09 for four (4) 25 mg Viagra pills

  6. Fnp says:

    That “nurse” in the back happens to be a Family Nurse Practitioner that has advanced education and training in treating patients using his/her expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies in order to care for his/her patients in an independent manner. Educate yourself before you write a story…do your research! I was a journalist before I became a RN, then a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are a huge part of healthcare and will most certainly be utilized more in the future with the rising costs of healthcare. Insurance companies are planning to offer discounts for “insureds” that go to APNs.

  7. lbrecka says:

    Because sometimes you have to take drugs or you are NOT going to get better. I had thyroid cancer and the radiation destroyed the function of the mucous membranes and salivary glands so that when I get a sinus infection there is no mechanism to clear the debris and it becomes a superinfection. Oh, and my thyroid glad is gone, so I need to take levothyroxine daily or turn into a cretin and die. There are no alternatives.

  8. Cary Byrd says:

    Yes, unfortunately my wife had her thyroid destroyed with radiation as well – when she was a young adult and now has to take Synthroid for the foreseeable future. We’re praying for a miracle because God is our only alternative for the reversal :)

  9. Ammymickens says:

    The increase in prices for ED drugs only reflects the overall trend toward high rates of inflation for pharmaceuticals. A 2010 report by the AARP says that around 75% of prescriptions in the U.S. are generic, and that in 2009 the costs of most popular name-brand drugs increased by more than 8%, despite the fact that U.S. consumer prices on average that year actually dropped by about 0.5%. From 2004 to 2010, overall inflation was 13.3%, yet the cost of non-generic drugs increased by 41.5% over that same time period.

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