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21 May, 2022
 

Billionaire Mark Cuban opens online pharmacy to provide affordable generic drugs

The platform aims to help shield consumers from inflated drug prices

Source: Good News Network

Mark Cuban has officially launched his newest venture—the online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs (MCCPDC).

The Good News Network previously reported on Cuban’s support for Texas radiologist Dr. Alex Oshymansky, who started a public benefit company to provide cheap pharmaceutical drugs.

The launch comes just weeks after the company’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) operation was established; both are efforts in the pursuit to help shield consumers from inflated drug prices.

“We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients,” -Alex Oshmyansky, CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug

According to a September 2021 Gallup poll, 18 million Americans were recently unable to pay for at least one prescription medication for their household due to ever-rising costs, and 1 in 10 Americans have skipped doses to save money. The pharmacy’s launch represents the first milestone in bringing affordable medications to millions.

Notable medications that epitomize the pharmacy’s savings include Imatinib, a leukemia treatment that has a retail price of $9,657 per month but with MCCPDC costs $47 per month; Mesalamine, an ulcerative colitis treatment that retails at $940 per month comes in at $32.40 per month with MCCPDC; the gout treatment Colchicine retails at $182 month, the lowest price with a common voucher is $32 per month, and with MCCPDC it costs $8.70 per month.

Consumer-first pricing

“We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients,” said Alex Oshmyansky, CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug. “The markup on potentially lifesaving drugs that people depend on is a problem that can’t be ignored. It is imperative that we take action and help expand access to these medications for those who need them most.”

As a registered pharmaceutical wholesaler, MCCPDC can bypass inflated markups. The pharmacy’s prices reflect actual manufacturer prices plus a flat 15% margin and pharmacist fee.

Because the company refuses to pay spread prices to third-party PBM administrators in order to be allowed to process insurance claims, the online pharmacy will be a cash pay venture.

However, its model means patients can immediately purchase a broad array of medications at prices often less than what most insurance plans’ deductible and copay requirements would total.

In November 2021, MCCPDC entered the PBM industry to serve companies providing prescription coverage in their employee benefit plans. MCCPDC has pledged to be “radically transparent” in its own negotiations with drug companies as a PBM, revealing the true costs it pays for drugs and eliminating spread pricing and misaligned rebate incentives.

MCCPDC anticipates its PBM could save companies millions of dollars with no changes to its benefits, depending on the size of the employer, because it will eliminate the traditional PBM model.

The company plans to integrate its pharmacy and wholesaler with its PBM, so any company that uses such services will have access to wholesale pricing through its online pharmacy.

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