I recently read an article in the Press Gazette "County considers cost-saving drug program", and sent a letter to all five commissioners regarding my concerns about this. I only received response from one commissioner who is convinced it is a good thing. So, I thought I would share my thoughts with the people of Santa Rosa County to see what they think our commissioners should do. I informed the county leaders that there is already a program that provides this service for citizens and it is not centered around one business such as CVS Caremark. Even though the article says there other pharmacies are involved, the actual fact is CVS Caremark receives the benefits of membership from the counties they have signed on. The article also stated that people using the discount card would receive discounts up to 24%, the program that I know about provides up to 40% discount on name brand drugs, and 60% on generic prescriptions, and they are not asking the county to pay a fee to be involved. I gave all five commissioners the website to check it out http://2pharmacydiscountnetwork.net/?page_id=14. Churches and non-profits can participate by handing out the applications to people that they provide a service to. My church does it for our food bank clients.
I informed the commissioners that as a citizen in Santa Rosa County I don't think the county should be getting involved in doing this. The article said that the county would only have to pay an annual fee, and even though there is a return of $1 per prescription, I can't see that big of a return to do all of the things talked about in the article. Just to get the return on the yearly fees of $2,504, there would need to be 2,504 people to use the card, and the card is limited to uninsured and the under insured. I also believe that it would open up a real can of worms because the county is not offering something to the whole population, yet the whole population's tax dollars are being used. And, when someone has a problem they will think it is a county program because it has been approved by the county.
As this is a program from one particular pharmacy, CVS, I think it is a really bad decision even though it states that other businesses are involved and will honor the card, it is still focused on one business that ALL taxpayers are supporting, that is not right. I have nothing against CVS, but so many pharmacies in our area already give discount drugs to the needy without charging anything back to the county in annual fees to do it. The commissioner who was good enough to respond said, "I don't see any down side to this." I mentioned one down side, and it should concern all citizens...that is the funds come out of the county tax dollars that everyone pays into. Furthermore there is no guarantee of a return that will pay for the initial annual fee, or a guarantee that there will be a profit to do the things that the county mentioned in the article.
I hope that our commissioners will not approve anything we have to pay an annual fee for, this could easily be considered as favoring one business over another. If local non-profits and ministries can provide information to those in need regarding free prescription discount cards that are available free of charge to anyone, why does the county want to get into this? Looks like some of the things big government is doing and we don't need that. Even though I believe that the heart of the idea to help those in need is right, it is not good business for a county, and is not even necessary.