The cost of living is dramatically rising. But, as health truly is wealth, one thing you shouldn’t have to scrimp on is buying your necessary medication.
Whether it be lifesaving drugs or your everyday essentials, one company is making your prescription affordable. It’s time to get familiar with Cost Plus Drugs.
Cost Plus Drugs is successfully disrupting the healthcare industry.
Its mission? To be “radically transparent” about dealing with supply chains, bypassing middlemen, and also inexpensively delivering pharmaceuticals.
Cost Plus Drugs Conception
In an interview with Fox Business, Cost Plus Drugs founder, Mark Cuban says, “It’s ridiculous what the pricing for generic drugs is. Period, end of story.”
Cuban is probably best known for being a ‘Shark’ investor on the ABC reality show, Shark Tank. According to Forbes, he’s invested more than $22 million in mission-led companies.
With a history in healthcare company investing, Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs company is a no-brainer. But, did you know the idea was born from a cold call?
Dr Alexander Oshmyansky, a radiologist from Dallas, cold-called Cuban on a whim. His idea was to create a low-cost, generic drug company that will help fight the rising prices of medication in the US.
“We discussed putting together a pharmacy specifically for generic drugs,” Cuban says during an interview with CBS News.
“Where we go out and we buy them from the same manufacturers that others are buying from. But really keep our costs low and just sell it at a 15% markup. From that, Costplusdrugs.com was born”, he continues.
As the US government doesn’t have the means to negotiate medication prices, the cost of pharmaceuticals can sometimes be sky-high. This is usually due to middlemen markups.
One of the most famous names associated with middlemen markups is Martin Shkreli.
The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera Pharmaceuticals – infamously raised the price of the life-saving drug, Daraprim. In 2015, the pill went from $13 to $750. That’s a staggering 5000% increase.
According to NPR, Shkreli (dubbed ‘Pharma Bro’) has now been barred from the drug industry. He has also been ordered “to return the $64.6 million in profits he and his former company reaped” from selling the Daraprim drug.
This is exactly the kind of middlemen markups that Cost Plus Drugs is fighting against.
“We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients,” says Alex Oshmyansky, CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug to Fox Business.
“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.”
How Cost Plus Drugs Works
So, how will Cost Plus Drugs serve the US with accessible and affordable medication? They will swerve these price-hiking middlemen by successfully purchasing directly from manufacturers.
“We’re trying to keep the prices low as possible.” says Cuban to CBS News.
After purchasing medication directly from labs, Cost Plus Drugs will add a 15% mark-up and the $3 pharmacist fee. This method has already lowered the prices of over 100 medications.
Breast Cancer drug, Letrozole usually retails for $216. At Cost Plus Drugs, you can get this medication for just $5.70.
Similar savings can be seen across medications for migraines, diabetes and alcohol dependence. It’s truly game-changing.
To quickly and effectively get your treatment to you, Cost Plus Drugs have also partnered with the online pharmacy, Truepill.
Founded by Umar Afridi and Sid Viswanathan in 2016, Truepill is a virtual pharmacy that also offers telehealth experiences and is one of the leaders in healthcare logistics.
Through this partnership, Cost Plus Drugs will be able to operate a mail-order delivery service. Deliveries can then be made throughout all 50 US States meaning that life-changing medication is delivered straight to your door.
This is a similar service to what a popular pharmaceuticals company, GoodRx, also operates.
Despite being a healthcare company, Cost Plus Drugs won’t ever accept insurance claims.
“We’re trying to keep the prices low as possible,” says Cuban, “There’s a lot of induced anxiety when dealing with insurance… Between your deductible and your co-pays, we felt like there was a chance we could get the price down so low that it would still be cheaper to pay directly than what it would to pay your co-pay or deal with your deductible.”
Say you don’t purchase your medication through Cost Plus Drugs. Instead, you claim your decent insurance.
Did you know you’re actually running the risk of massively overpaying for your medication? Remember those high middlemen markups we were talking about earlier? This is the result.
By keeping costs low and not having to deal with your deductible, buying through the company is a no-brainer.
Cost Plus Drugs are a must for those who are uninsured, are on a high deductible healthcare plan, or are feeling the pinch in the current climate.
As reported by VAO News, PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl thinks government regulation and buying from manufacturers directly “threatens innovation and makes a broken health care system even worse”.
However, Cost Price Drugs is bringing some refreshing transparency to a historically-opaque system.
This transparent slate isn’t as crystal clear when it comes to the company’s owner, however.
According to ESPN, Cuban came under fire in 2014 when he allegedly said it was a “slippery slope” for the NBA to force former Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Stirling, to sell his club.
This came after the American attorney allegedly made racist comments.
According to USA Today, the billionaire father of TikTok star, Alexis Sofia Cuban, also said: “If I see a black kid in a hoodie on my side of the street, I’ll move to the other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos… I’ll move back to the other side of the street. None of us have pure thoughts; we all live in glass houses.”
Cuban has since apologised for this comment.
Currently, an $11 billion, 20,000+ square foot facility is being built in Dallas, Texas. Here, the company will manufacture medicines itself.
Once the Dallas facility is up and running, it’s expected that drugs will be listed even lower than they are now.
To conclude, the Cost Price Drugs mission statement is simple.
The company will allow users to buy prescription drugs and lifesaving medication at low and transparent prices. As CBS News rightly say, it’s a potential “life-saving change for many people”.
For more information and FAQ, head to the Cost Plus Drugs website by clicking here.
Feature image credit: Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs