Dallas, TX

Billionaire Mark Cuban has opened an online pharmacy to provide lower cost medicine for the masses

B.R. Shenoy

“Everyone should have safe, affordable medicines with transparent prices,” Mark Cuban in a quote on MCCPDC’s website.

On January 19, venture capitalist Mark Cuban of Shark Tank and Dallas Mavericks ownership lore opened the online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs, which provides prescriptions at wholesale costs to customers.

  • The online pharmacy provides a selection of over 100 generic medications at steep discounts off their retail cost. Except for North Carolina, shipping is now accessible to 49 states.
  • The company’s primary goal is to provide alternatives to a market frequently subject to shortages and overpriced generic pharmaceuticals due to a lack of competition.
  • According to a September 2021 Gallup survey, almost 18 million people in the United States could not pay for at least one prescription drug for their families. Furthermore, 10% of Americans have missed prescription dosages to save money.
  • All individuals have to do is find their drug on the website and ask their doctor to send Cost Plus Drugs a prescription, which they will fill. Digital healthcare company, Truepill’s platform will be used to fill and deliver prescriptions.
  • Prices at Cost Plus Drug are based on the actual manufacturer’s prices, plus a 15% flat margin and a $3 charge for pharmacists’ labor. Shipping is an additional $5.
  • Customers must pay out of pocket while dealing with the pharmacy since they do not accept insurance claims or pay third-party pharmacy benefit management organizations.
  • Thanks to its model, patients may buy a wide range of prescriptions right away, which is typically less expensive than the sum of most insurance plans’ deductible and copay requirements.

No Middlemen

The company began its PBM (pharmacy benefit manager) activity in November.

By serving as a middleman between pharmacies, healthcare providers, and medication makers, the company can negotiate cheaper costs for pharmaceutical customers.

“Our goal here is to bypass all the intermediary players and get it sold to patients as directly as possible with transparent pricing,” CEO of Cost Plus Drugs, Alex Oshmyansky

Examples

  • Metformin, a diabetic medication, costs $3.90 for a 30-day supply at Cuban’s pharmacy, compared to a retail price of $20.
  • A 30-count of imatinib, used to treat leukemia and other malignancies, costs as little as $17.10 at Cuban’s pharmacy, compared to $2,502.60 at other pharmacies.
  • Colchicine, a gout treatment, costs only $8.70 per month at Cuban’s pharmacy, compared to a retail price of $182 per month.

The Future

Moving forward, the company says it also has plans to build a pharmaceutical factory in Dallas, which is slated to be finished by the end of the year.

They hope to profit from non-pharmaceutical products, which will allow them to support lower-cost formulations and provide medications for rare illnesses directly to patients or through outpatient clinics.

Since the company launched, Cuban, 63, has helped spread the news on social media.

Cuban is not the first billionaire to attempt to address medicine cost issues. In 2018, Amazon announced its acquisition of PillPack and forayed into retail pharmacy. Walmart introduced a $4 generic medicine pricing much before that, in 2006. Consumers can use tools like oneRx and GoodRx to compare the costs of medications with and without insurance.

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