The cost of life saving drugs and medications has been out of control for decades, leaving many forced to pay sky high rates for the treatments they need. Even worse, the reality of economic inequality in the U.S. often means that individuals will go without essential medications altogether, further worsening the state of healthcare and their wellbeing.
According to a recent poll, it was reported that a staggering 18 million Americans have been recently unable to pay for at least one prescription for their household, and that around one in ten have even skipped doses to save money.
Businessman and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is looking to change this reality, as he launches an online pharmacy for generic drugs, The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company. Announced on Jan. 19, the investor and public figure shared the launch of his new company’s online pharmacy, which is aimed at eliminating the ‘middlemen’ from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.
Cuban’s company is seeking to help consumers avoid unnecessarily high drug costs by opting to charge manufacturers’ prices as well as a flat 15% markup and pharmacist fee. It’s a considerable degree lower than some of the industry’s current markups, with some hospitals reportedly marking drugs up an estimated 250% on average.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is a major breakthrough in cost-effective prescription drug treatment, being able to provide essential medications without compromising on quality. In some cases, it will be possible to reduce medication costs by as much as 90% depending on each person’s unique health profile and needs.
What will it offer?
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company wants to revolutionise the pharmaceutical business model and how it works in relation to consumer pricing. It seeks to acknowledge the sensitivity and necessity of prescription medication to public health, and is employing a direct approach to encourage the decommodification of essential treatments.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company charges a standard markup on all drugs it sells, being transparent about the cost of doing its business. In this way, it has been expressed that the company’s identified social purpose of reducing disease is just as critical, if not more, as its financial success.
The business itself will be offering a range of about 100 prescription medications as a starting point, through which patients will be able to see price cuts of more than half in many cases.
How does it work?
By seeking to eliminate unnecessary barriers such as middlemen and corporate markups, companies are able to pass savings on to the consumer by working directly with pharmaceutical companies.
As a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler, The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is able to negotiate direct supplier pricing. Its direct pharmacy to supplier relationship means that it is able to cut the costs of delivering pharmaceuticals to the public, and only needs to charge what it needs to operate sufficiently. Because of this, the pharmacy’s prices simply reflect a fixed 15% margin, as well as the pharmacist’s fee.
This system is being further optimised through the adoption of modern and innovative health tools which are also designed to alleviate barriers within the health industry, such as Truepill, which has partnered with Cuban.
With the help of this digital healthcare company, users can expect a streamlined and secure online experience as they use the pharmacy’s website. They will also be able to benefit from a reliable prescription fulfilment and delivery system with the help of Truepill’s national pharmacy network.
By offering such accessible alternatives, these services are working together, as well as alongside pharmacists and drug markets in order to provide more affordable medication for a lower cost without sacrificing quality.
A changing landscape
A game changer for many, Cuban’s recent effort alongside similar ones such as GoodRx, signify an emerging alternative in the health sector in which third party providers are developing solutions to a systematic problem left unsolved for years.
Why is this different from GoodRx?
GoodRx is an online platform that allows people to compare prescription prices, and offers coupons for up to 80% off. The company’s mission is to help people save money on drugs by providing information about costs at local pharmacies.
Rather than having to check several pharmacies and ensure you are getting the best price, as well as find out if your insurance covers it, this company aims to make the process less time consuming. It’s similar to The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company in its ultimate mission, however differs in the way that it is simply a facilitator of easier access to prescriptions rather than a supplier.
What these companies have to offer the public in terms of more accessible and affordable medication is nothing short of revolutionary, especially given the fact that around two thirds of Americans take prescription drugs.
A complex problem that mandates comprehensive solutions, the American prescription drug system has long been in need of a serious overhaul. This is something that may be in progress with the new institution of The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, but is certainly an endeavour that requires much more support and development in order to turn it into an all out solution.
However, with the introduction of the online pharmacy’s first inventory of 100 drugs in January 2022, its vertical integration into the pharmacy benefits management business and its building of a cutting-edge pharmaceutical plant in Dallas planned for completion by the end of 2022, The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company will soon be on the way to making medication less expensive for U.S. consumers.